the spiders

I can’t look in at our ant colony (or, as we say, our tenants) to make sure it’s dying, but we think it is.

We’re guessing, but the noise is definitely less. It’s harder to hear, although I still can make it out sometimes in the walls. It used to be audible from five feet away, and now, with my ear to the paint, it’s barely perceptible.

Next there’s the wishful-thinking component: we used to find ants sometimes walking on the carpet, and this week, we haven’t. It could be that the rain finally stopped, of course. But we don’t see six-legged wanderers in random rooms.

And finally (what sealed it for me) are the spiders. This house last summer was a magnet for ugly-looking harmless-to-humans spiders. These guys were big (although Wendy would beg to differ, and in comparison to her Hairy Inkblots of Doom, I agree) and liked to hang out on the ceiling.

This summer, no spiders. Except that in the last three days, suddenly they’re here again. They’ve come out of the walls and are hanging around, being ugly, hunting for food.

I’m guessing hungry spiders are our best sign that the ants are dying.

On the other front in my life, I miss my online forum. Last night, I dreamed about it. I was in a train station and someone started acting creepy toward me, and I used one of their standard tactics on him and said loudly, “Excuse me, but back away — you’re making me uncomfortable!” so everyone around me would look and the guy would back off.

I keep wondering about some of the people there, someone who was hosting a shared birthday party with her sister-in-law, someone whose husband wanted to leave her and her baby to backpack for a year in Australia and honestly didn’t see anything wrong with it.

I’m waiting for the spiritual spiders to appear on my walls now. What’s going to be the indicator that whatever was wrong with me (that I couldn’t stay) is going on the mend?

This has been an unusual week for the household, with my brother’s visit, because we’re doing more than usual. When it’s just us here again, I’m not sure if I’ll suddenly find myself with five hours a day extra, or whether I’ll just fill my life with something else that in the long run will be bad for me.

In the middle of the night, I said to my guardian angel, ruefully, “You’re trying to make me a saint, aren’t you?” I don’t think I got a response, but I also think I’m right. That’s what guardian angels do. In this case, though, it’s a real uphill bike-ride.

In many cases, we don’t ever know the full impact of something we’ve done, good or bad. But when one thing changes, the rest of the system shifts to adapt for the change, and if you can’t know it directly, sometimes you can intuit the rest by finding the spiders.