Barricaded

By Dick Gillett

As I stepped outside my front door last week, anticipating a delicious macchiato at Herkimer Coffee on Phinney Ridge, I was unexpectedly confronted by a barricade. About five or six feet across, it stretched across the handrails in front of me, its multiple strands caught by the morning sun. At its center was a spider, only half as big as the head of a pencil eraser—the architect and engineer.

My wife, ever-admiring of the skill and determination of spiders, was close by and counseled me to leave the spider’s work intact and go out by the back door. I scoffed at her suggestion and crashed through the barrier, the tiny spider sinking to the ground as its net fell.

At Herkimer, I made a full report of this incident to Chad, one of the baristas that I’ve known the longest. He heard me unsympathetically and scoffed at my accomplishment: “Greatest Generation, indeed!” he said.

I scoffed . . . and crashed through the barrier, the tiny spider sinking to the ground as its net fell.

Kelly, the other barista on duty, heard my story and made a face. She related that as a young girl a spider had been trapped in her ear, and later had been bitten by a spider. Little sympathy there, either.

A harmless incident, not worth the telling? Perhaps. Yet as we encounter more and more spider webs these summer months, both my wife and I continue to be astounded by how these tiny arachnids accomplish such immense engineering marvels, the materials for which emerge from their own bodies. Think of their ambition! Even more, ponder their willingness to get up and try again after going down with their creations. Are these lessons worth pondering in our complex and confounding world?

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Author Dick Gillett is a Member of PNA Village, a retired Episcopal priest, and a regular contributor to our blog. His many articles include ““Generation Nice” at Herkimer Coffee”, “Martín’s Journey to the White House”,  and “Cell Phones, Conversations, and the Common Good”.

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Village Game Group this Thursday

Do you have fond memories of playing board games with your family when you were a child, or as a parent? Or maybe you played word tile games with friends from school, or know folks who love playing games with number tiles or dominoes?

If any or all of the above apply to you, now is the time to check out the new PNA Village Game Group! No intense competition expected—just a fun time playing games together. We may have some of your old favorite games as well as ones that are new to you. You’re also welcome to bring your own favorite game!

Please join us on the 2nd Thursday of each month from 1:15 – 2:45 PM in the meeting room of the Broadview Branch of The Seattle Public Library.

SPL Broadview Branch
12755 Greenwood Ave N.

There is a parking lot available at the library. The location is also served by Metro bus routes 5, 345, 355.

(Event is not sponsored by The Seattle Public Library.)

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