She swings from a long silver strand attached to the eaves, the tender breeze pushing her left, then right. Eight legs outstretched, she is no bigger than a lentil bean, and the sunshine makes her body glow, bright with orange and yellow. Where are you going, I wonder, with ten feet of space between you and the ground?
Curious, I sit down, leaned on the railing, and watch.
She spins a tiny silken pearl, then drops down a bit more. The inconstant breeze takes her to the pillar and she grabs it, attaches her line, and walks out onto the sag in her slack-rope, back to the pearl she’d placed. Then she spins a line out into thin air.
The breeze helps her, pulling her thread to the right where it touches the railing a few feet away. Quickly, she scrambles down, securing it there. Then she returns, trudges along the railing to the left, dragging new line behind her. I can see her silken pearl–small as a pin’s head–tremble as she tugs and tightens her guy-wires. She walks them all–up, down, left, right–thickening them, making them taut and strong.
Back to the pearl at the apex, and rest.
Now she builds her frame. Walk up the top wire, set a string, drop off into space and drift down to the right-hand line. Walk a bit and secure it. Back up to the top, and do the same to the left. A triangle is built. Now, double the lines, strengthen the frame, back to the pearl.
In a flurry of legs, she’s off again, moving up each line, from apex to frame, two steps clockwise, bring a line back. Now the next line, apex to frame, two steps around, bring a line back. She builds a trefoil pattern–top, right, left, building the spokes of her wheel, quickly stringing the radiating lines. Out, sidestep, back, out, sidestep, back. I see the pattern build in the slanting sunlight, see it begin to shimmer against the greenery of my garden. She builds the spokes, isn’t happy with them, goes out here, out there, adjusting, tightening, until her creation begins to vibrate with her every step, the parts ready to become a whole.
Back to the pearl, back to her beacon in the sunlight.
She starts to rotate, scuttling her legs around in a circle, and I realize she’s begun the connecting threads. She turns and spins, and then as her spiral grows, she moves outward, walking. She steps, spoke to spoke, weaving the gossamer thread as she goes. Clockwise from the center, outward, outward. I can barely see her silk, but it is there, glimpsed when the breeze moves the branches above, shining a beam of light on this delicate wonder. She spins the whole of it in a single, curving path, then spends a few moments cleaning up the corners.
Back to the center, back to her pearl, back to the one thing I can see without difficulty.
Then, like an artist erasing a penciled guideline, she eats the silken pearl, removing all evidence of her craft, leaving only the beauty of the finished product.
In the center, she rests.