Yesterday my wife Norma spent the afternoon cleaning and rearranging the cupboards. An envelope of cheddar potato soup surfaced and she asked me to prepare it for supper. The sealed package’s ingredients would serve eight, so I emptied the envelope into a large bowl to divide it into two or three meals. As I began spooning the ingredients around, something moved – a large, long-legged cellar spider. It was the color of the powdered cheese and the leg-spread was about two inches. I should have grabbed my camera, but Norma said, “Get it out of here.” I did, taking the bowl outside and ladling the spider (and the soup mix) into the grass. (The spider scurried across several blades of grass). I was in awe how this little creature probably hatched from an egg in a vacuum-sealed envelope, without water, and survived and grew to adulthood. (Norma estimated the envelope had been on the shelf for about a year.) I pronounced a blessing over the marvel, went inside and got my camera, but when I returned I could not find it. Perhaps the total change in environment will kill it, though it proved it was a survivor. I found myself celebrating the power, tenacity and mystery of life, and also celebrating the spider. The whole incident bordered on the miraculous for me. Norma did not share my delight.
Both of us were out of the mood for soup, so went out for a salad, but neither of us could enjoy our meal because we kept looking for spiders on our plates. Of course, none showed up.
This morning I slid open the back door and heard a thin voice singing, “Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, I’m free at last!”