Both times I have dined at Hen of the Wood in Waterbury, VT, I left with a good story to tell. Last time involved me falling on my butt into rock hard snow.
While the food is remarkable, a true foodie wonderland in creativity and quality, it seems while in their company I am able to find reflection, inward and outward.
It would be wrong not to mention the divine food, so in a few short pictures I’ll give you the overall mood and taste of the night:
We were seated in front of open French doors that led out to a small deck with outdoor seating. Being that I was facing the doors, I found myself studying the darkness of the night, the plants hanging from the ceiling, and the massive spider webs that glistened in the spotlights.
At first I was completely disgusted. Yes, I am a spider shrieker*. Little ones, big ones, it doesn’t matter. They make my skin crawl. So after noticing them, I tried to ignore them. Yet, moments before our entrees** were served, I noticed something.
*No, this is not a real thing, and yes, spell check totally told me that it was wrong. But I think it may catch on.
**Duck for the lady and goat’s milk dumplings for the gentleman. Yum. Yum. And yum.
While in the picture it doesn’t quite show, the web on the left is completely finished. The spider on that web, we’ll call him Lefty, sat still for a better part of the night. Sometimes he’d move a bit to check out some grub on his web, but most of the night Lefty sat in the comfort of the same spot.
I watched the web on the right, whose spider we’ll call Righty, transform from merely the frame of a web into a completely unique spider web.
Spider webs seem to appear as if from nowhere. Wipe them off in the morning and like magic they are back the next night. Yet, as I watched Righty move continuously in circle after circle, again and again and again, diligently weaving his home, I found myself exhausted for him. It soon became apparent that though spider webs may appear daily, they are made painstakingly, with delicate care and intense craftsmanship.
I watched Righty working his butt off while Lefty sat minding his own business. I thought, ‘If Lefty came over and helped, Righty’s web would be made so much faster. Then he wouldn’t be spending what is near an hour working on just the frame of his web.’
But that’s not how it works. Even with my sympathetic thoughts, I knew this to be true. This is his web. He had to build it.
I realized, in reflecting on these spider webs, that our own lives have much more in common with spiders than we might ever realize.
In life, we want so bad for someone else to do the hard work for us. We see someone reaping the benefit of their own work and want to be equal. But are we willing to put in the same kind of perseverance and dedication to achieve that which we desire?
You have to build your own web.
At the end of the night, I watched Righty reach completion, then rest and wait for his prey. Within moments, he received the reward of a fly coming head on into his masterpiece. His entire existence counted on him putting in the tireless effort to wind his own web, moving continuously, without aid or assistance. Had he given up, gone stagnant, or waited for another spider to come along, he would have ceased to be.
Are you building your own web?
Or, are you waiting with hope that another spider will come along and do it for you?