I’m not a great lover of creatures with eight legs but for the past three months I’ve been sharing my morning shower with Spider.
He sits very quietly in the top corner of the cubicle while the water is flowing, trying to ensure that he doesn’t give me the impression that he is even thinking about moving a leg.
When he first moved in, we eyed each other warily. He was cautious that I might blast him with a shower head of warm water and I was cautious that he might launch himself at me.
Eventually we came to an unspoken agreement. He won’t move a muscle when I’m in there, if I don’t splash about too much and jeopardise his grip on the tiles. It’s a mutually beneficial arrangement.
A few weeks into our cohabiting, a small fat short-eight-legged interloper arrived. He was a little bit too frisky for my liking. He managed to survive our first shower but by the next morning Spider had considerately wrapped him up into a tight little larder. A Spider’s got to eat.
Next, a similar spider tried to join in (he was probably interested in the food parcel that dangled in thin air supported only by Spider’s gossamer thread). He didn’t last long.
As careful as I was to avoid him, swinging dangerously about on silken web while a rainwater shower is running full pelt above you is always going to end in a disaster of a down-the-plughole kind.
So Spider and I continue about our own business every morning. We don’t bother each other. Just a small recognition is all it takes. “Spider” I nod, as I step into the shower. He has the good sense not to draw attention to himself by replying.
This is one of those relationships that we must savour in the days they are here. It’s important to stop and take an interest in the world around us and the people and creatures who share it with us. None of us operates very well as an island.
Without realising his impact Spider contributes to my well-being as, in the calm before storm of the day, I can contemplate what this new day will bring for us both, and wonder whether he will still be there to greet me tomorrow morning.