When I first started paying attention to the world (because that’s what you do if you want to be a writer), it was spiderwebs that caught my scrutiny. I still notice them.
Today Hannah and I were walking and the snow was swirling. I was mesmerized by getting to walk in a snow globe in April; she was annoyed and irritated.
As we followed the curve of the road into the woods, I noticed a spiderweb with snowflakes clinging to it. “Look at that!” I said to Hannah.
I thought she would grumble, but instead she stopped in her tracks. “Wow! That is cool,” she said (with emphasis, even).
I’ve never photographed spiderwebs in the snow. It turns out that it isn’t very easy. We attempted to get a photo of the snowy web phenomenon, but decided it might be something we would have to carry in our memories instead of on the camera roll.
We walked a little farther and there was another snowy spiderweb…in fact, they were all over. So we took more photos. (They all fall short of the picture in my memory.)
Hannah said, “I’ve never noticed how beautiful spiderwebs are. It’s hard to believe that a spider can make something so delicate.”
“It’s true,” I said. “Webs are one of my favorite things. I’ve never seen any like this before. The snow just hangs and as it melts, it turns to droplets still clinging to the silk. Just think about how strong these webs are.”
We picked our way through the woods, careful not to ruin the webs. “I didn’t know it’d be so much fun just looking at spiderwebs,” Hannah said.
“It’s always fun to notice things the majority of the world misses because of their busy lives.”
“Or their busy screens,” Hannah said.
Spiderwebs remind me of the beauty of diligence. I don’t think spiders are in competition to make the most beautiful web…or the fastest web…of the strongest web. I think they are just doing their things, making webs and living life.
There is beauty in doing the thing you are made to do…there is beauty in the diligence of doing your thing year after year. For me, it’s stacking words and encouraging others to share their stories, too.
What I’m just beginning to realize (but maybe I knew all along) is that I can’t really write the stories knocking around inside of me unless I’m writing alongside other people who are noticing small things and sharing their stories.
There was a time in my life, just a few moons ago, when I questioned whether noticing spiderwebs was a worthy use of my time. I wondered if it was responsible and efficient to write about such small things. It turns out that there is much beauty in the diligence it takes to notice and write about the small things like a spider web. It turns out that writing about a spiderweb may be the most important topic I can find.
I’m joining a quiet community of writers over at Sharing Our Stories: Magic in a Blog. If you write (or want to write) just for the magic of it, consider this your invitation to join us.