I look outside my bedroom window and I notice the trees are turning a vibrant shade of red. It’s that time of year where the seasons are in transition. It doesn’t quite feel like yet autumn yet; although the calendar may tell me differently. The weather is getting cooler in the evening but the days are warmed by sunshine. The sun is in a different position in the sky now, and soon our nights will become longer.
And it is the change of our star that makes me notice something I’ve never paid attention to before. When the morning sunshine hits my window, I see the glimmer of cobwebs hanging outside. In the summer months I noticed the spiders, cocooned in the corners of the panes, but I never really noticed the webs they wove. Although now, with the colder nights, the spiders are no longer there and I can only assume one thing: they’ve come inside to make their home in my warm house.
The thought terrifies me. I hate spiders. If I see one inside I have to get rid of it. There is something about them that makes me cringe. A couple of years ago, we had a spider find its way inside our bathroom. It would come in and out of the vent. I was told it was harmless so, much to my dismay, I let it be. But then one morning I went to run a bath and I saw hundreds of tiny black dots lining my tub. The spider had laid its eggs inside and my home was infested. It sickened me.
People often write about seasons of life, and how they change. How we go from winter seasons – periods of dryness when it feels like life is anything but thriving – to spring, where life seems to blossom and unfold its beauty. But I’ve never heard anyone talk about the spiders that wish to make their home with me as the seasons arrive and go again.
Spiders are deadly predators. It’s in their nature to trap their prey and once tangled, spiders wrap the prey until they suffocate. It’s a slow and terrible process. The prey sees its death coming, but by then it is too late, it is too stuck to break free.
I think about the spiders in my life – the negative thoughts that seek to consume me and suffocate me. They appear in rare moments at first. They seem harmless and so I let them be. But then they give birth to hundreds of other negative thoughts and before I know it, my mind is infested with them. It debilitates me and it takes a lot of work to clear them out and make my mind clean again.
Recently, I’ve been struggling with the fact that I am so far away from my family and friends back home in the States. I know it is normal to miss them, but sometimes the thoughts become so negative that it causes me to stop being present in the life I have here in London. These thoughts are trying to suck the life out of me and if I leave them be, I know they will suffocate me.
So I have to set some preventative measures against these spiders. I have catch them before they come in. I have to stop them from wanting to make their home with me.
I recently learned that spiders can be repelled by horse chestnuts (conkers is you’re in the UK). Something about the scent makes spiders flee. I’m going to fill my house with them. And I want to do it before the cold winter weather sets in, once winter comes the spiders will seek shelter inside and I don’t want my home infested with them.
This year I will look to repel the negative thoughts. I will make my mind clear of them. And I want to do it before any period of dryness comes, before my life hits a winter season. Because I want to preserve the beauty in my life. I want to be reminded of how lucky I am to be here, and despite how much I miss my old home, I have so much to be thankful for. There is no room for negative thoughts. I will find chestnuts of gratitude and place them all around me.