I rode along in the wee hours of the morning. I had been waiting for the sun to rise forever. When it was still dark, I cruised along through the parking lots, near empty at that hour, hazy streetlights diffusing a bit of light over a few jogging shadows.
The thick fog delayed the sun’s long-awaited entrance. Finally, it was light enough to go around the trails.
Still early, still quiet, I zipped through the trees, making my way along the wide path when I noticed them. White gauzy splotches hanging from the trees. At first I thought it must be some kind of infestation. A caterpillar nest, like the ones that cover our side yard pecan tree some years. Maybe some other insect.
Then I noticed more of the white patches as I rode along the more-than-a-mile route. And more. And then even more. Seemed to be no rhyme or reason. They were between grasses and next to ponds ponds, resting on leaves and spread between branches. High and low, big and small, many and few.
Kind of eerie, if you ask me. Sort of like white cotton candy, but more like someone took little gobs of that white webbing they bring out on Halloween and placed millions of little patches of it everywhere. On a foggy March morning, it was jarring as I pedaled by.
Then I realized, it was only spider webs. Hundreds of them, scattered in the woods. The heavy fog gathered on them, tiny little droplets, making them appear white in morning’s misty haze.
And then I thought, these webs were there all along, sitting there, doing their job. The work of hundreds of spiders, usually invisible, now illuminated by a simple change in the weather.
It made me think about what’s happening right now. This coronavirus crisis. I think of the stories I hear of people sewing masks, people sharing supplies they have, shopping for elderly and at-risk neighbors, companies opening up content to those in need, people sharing talents online to lift others up.
I’ve also heard stories of anger, of stress, of disregard and racism and unkindness. The ugly side.
As this disease washes over us, like the mist on those spider webs, what will it bring to light about us that was always already there? Will it be the best of us? Kindness, generosity, patience? Or will it be something else, something scary? Hoarding? Selfishness?
There’s no doubt this crisis will reveal who we are. What will it reveal about you? About me?
Like a web, we are all connected. May this change in weather show us how we are bound together in strong and positive ways. Another opportunity to choose daily.