Packing Up Paradise

Today a family member sent me a photo similar to this one asking, “Do you know what kind of spider this is?” I immediately texted back, “Orb Weaver.” The name leapt into my head and I texted it before, any doubt could settle in.

How did I know that, I wondered. I then Googled “orb weaver spider” just to be sure. The orb weaver was the main character of a children’s book from the public library that I must have checked out nearly 50 times when I was in elementry school. A spider lives in a garden and has several insect friends. A truck takes…cabbages? away to another farm or field and the spider makes a new web there.

This was before I had heard of Charlotte’s Web and probably two decades before The Very Busy Spider was published. I’ve tried to track down the book, but have never succeeded. I can’t even recall the other details.

What stands out to me, is that the spider is always able to make its home, no matter where it may end up. It takes time and work, but the web (and home) will get there if you work at it.

This week I am packing up my life into boxes, getting ready to leave for a 12 week artist residency in New Mexico. I have been thinking endlessly about what I need to do before I leave and what I might need in that new home.

Every time I think about home, the opening lines of Montana poet Richard Hugo‘s poem “The Dixon Bar” ring in my ears:

“Home. Home. I knew it entering,”

Where are you feeling most at home these days?

You can hear the whole poem read over at High Country News

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