It was the middle of December. I was brushing my teeth, staring at myself in the mirror in the bathroom. It was then that I noticed the spider on the wall behind me. It was next to a picture that was hanging on the wall. It did not seem to be moving. I noticed the spider in the same location the next day. I nudged it gently to make sure it was alive. It was. Over the next few days the spider moved to different locations on the wall.The spider dropped out of sight shortly after that. We then went on our Christmas vacation in Florida towards the end of December. Shortly after we returned, a few days into the new year, I noticed a spider again. This time it was while I was taking a bath. I was quite certain that it was the same spider I had seen previously. It was inside a plastic protrusion in the soap-holder fixture that was attached to the wall of the shower stall.There was very little space for the spider to move in the piece of plastic. Once again I made sure it was alive – this time by tapping on the plastic.
I noticed the spider in the same location over the next few days. It became obvious to me that it was trapped. My feeling about the predicament of the spider created the perfect excuse for me to move into action. Perhaps I could free it while also replacing the soap-holder, something I had been thinking of doing for a while. I installed a new fixture on the walland pulled out the old one, releasing the spider (still alive!) from where it was stuck. I could not figure out how it had gotten into the little space.
I released the spider on to the wall on which I had first seen it. It disappeared into a little space behind the door of the bathroom. After that, I did not see it for a few days. And then it reappeared on the bathroom counter. It was still alive!A few questions arose in my mind.
Where had the spider come from? What kind of a spider was this, and how long could it live? (I subsequently read that it was most likely a common house spider, a harmless creature that is capable of living a long time, even up to a year.) What do spiders like this live on? Also, are they able to live with minimum food intake? Certainly, when it was trapped in the shower fixture, the spider had no access to food. And the only open food in the bathroom was probably soap! Curious! I also read that if indeed it was a common house spider, if I had moved it outside the house (my first instinct!), it would most likely not have survived.
I have not seen the spider for a while since then. I do not know what happened to it. It could be dead for all I know, and I would not really feel bad about that. Did I make any kind of difference in the life of the spider. Hard to imagine. Did I make any difference regarding life as a universal experience? Do we really care what happens to spiders? Was there any moral issue involved in what I did? This whole exercise, including my writing of this blog, could seem rather pointless to some. But in the grand scheme of things, there are a lot of things that we do, some things closer to home, even some things that are seemingly more consequential, that are ultimately pointless. But still we do these things, sometimes for our own reasons, sometimes for reasons that we may not even be able to explain properly to ourselves. It may be one of the things that makes us human.