By Sharon Callahan
My computer sits on a table which is up against a window overlooking my yard. One morning sitting down at the computer I noticed that on the outside in a corner of the window a large spider had constructed a magnificent, intricate web which glistened in rainbow hues as the sun filtered through it onto my desk. The spider herself was quite amazing. I had never seen anything quite like her before. I took a magnifying glass from my desk drawer to take a closer look. She was whitish gray in color with darker gray speckles. Her body was large and her legs not too long. As I looked at her through the magnifying glass she suddenly turned and looked directly at me with an intelligence that was astonishing and we connected soul to soul. I fully expected in a day or two she would be gone, but each day when I sat down to write there she was neat and tidy in the center of her beautiful web.
When I would sit down to write she would adjust her position so that she was looking in the window at me. She communicated to me in a disarmingly direct way that she enjoyed my company and that she hoped she wasn't too scary looking for me. I let her know that I thought she was beautiful and that I enjoyed her company as well. One day I had an inspiration to create a little altar for her enjoyment. I took a tiny statue of Buddha, some small crystals and a holy card with a picture of St. Francis and set them all on the window ledge beneath her web facing out so she could enjoy them. She would periodically come down from her web and rest against the window in front of her altar. She really seemed to enjoy it and I enjoyed writing there while she keep me company.
I found my writing changed with her there on the other side of the glass. Since childhood I have had trouble concentrating, organizing my thoughts and drawing things together into a cohesive whole. As I typed at my computer I found that the spider helped me organize the things I was writing. She did this by projecting into my mind a spider web like mandala which linked together all my thoughts bringing them together into a nice neat package. Many months of unfinished articles suddenly came together and new articles flowed in an organized manner coming to completion quickly and fully. I found myself able to attend to the editing of my book which I had put off for almost a year. I was thinking differently!
I began to add to the spider's altar in appreciation of her incredible gift to me. Lots of tiny spider sized things found there way to that window sill. Little sparkly things that glistened in the sun, some dried rose petals from my garden, sacred sand from a Tibetan sand painting and more pictures of saints which she seemed especially fond of. Our relationship grew for several months as did my ability to organize and concentrate.
On the morning which would have begun our fourth month together I sat at my computer looked out the window expecting my usual view of my lovely spider only to find her gone, web and all. My heart sank and I felt shaky. I turned and ran out the door and around the side of the house searching along the foundation of the house beneath her window and the rafters above, but there was no sign of her. How could she have vanished so quickly and completely? Would I be able to organize my thoughts without her? I sat on the grass beneath her window feeling an incredible sense of loss.
Hours later I sat at my computer and found that the thoughts did still come in an organized fashion as they had when my spider was present. The web in my mind remained, connecting my thoughts and organizing them. That night in a dream I once again looked out the window over my computer to see my beautiful white spider in her web as she had been those three months. In her web were written the letters S-O-B-E-T. When I awoke I remembered the letters in the web and recognized the word as a Sufi term, but did not remember the meaning. When I looked the word up, I found that sobet means to share spiritual conversation and friendship.