A Walk, a Web, and An Epiphany

Fresh webs after the rain.

The morning after a lovely, needed rain here in Ontario, my husband and I took a meandering walk along a lakeside path running beside pine woods. The air was thick and full of fog, even though the sun was doing its best to drink up the sparkling fairy drops on each branch and blade of grass. We walked slowly in the humidity, conserving energy.

You know the feeling. You wonder why in the world you’re not back in the air conditioning sipping your favorite breakfast drink. You look at your watch, push your glasses up on your nose…

And then we rounded a bend so that the sun spotlighted dozens of freshly woven spider webs flung from milkweed to pine branch, from Queen Anne’s Lace to tall grass, almost all the webs with the tired but proud spider sitting in the centre, one foot over the arm of her easy chair, surveying her new creation.

Shooting into the sun I captured a minuscule bit of the moment, mostly by chance, as I carried only my iPhone and really couldn’t see its screen.

Sometimes we writers do that. We shoot into the sun and hope the story will tell itself.

I thought of Charlotte’s Web, E.B. White’s stunning story for children which so captured my adult mind. Overnight these Charlottes created magic after the thundering rain of the night before had destroyed their homes.

My ‘Charlotte’ is resting here in the web.

Sort of makes me think of critics and reviews and suggestions and thoughts of failure. Perhaps we need to weave our own new webs, fresh and clean, sparkling in the sun.

Sometimes I’m Charlotte and sometimes I’m Wilbur and sometimes I’m just not even in the book.  Which one are you? Haven’t read Charlotte’s Web? Do it now and then leave a comment about its lessons or, alternatively, a life-changing book you love.


10 thoughts on “A Walk, a Web, and An Epiphany

  1. A lot to think about. I haven’t read Charlotte’s Web but I do have the movie with Dakota Fanning in it and I love it. I must say that I am terrified of spiders and have no idea why. I don’t like looking at them even in pictures. But that spider in Charlotte’s Web sure does get to you. I am probably something like her because I keep getting up and starting over again even sometimes when I don’t see the point of doing it. I keep editing even when I’m not trying to edit. I see something that needs to be changed, deleted, added, switched around. It’s never-ending. But I keep at it. Thanks for another good read, Elaine.


    • I’ve never seen the movie, Diane, and think it’s time I reread the book for a fresh new perspective on it. And I definitely edit in the same way, even when I’m not trying to. Thanks for another great comment and good luck with your novel!


  2. I would say Charlotte’s Web is responsible for my love of reading. The memory of my grade four teacher reading that story is still clear in my mind.
    I try to be like Charlotte most days. Building and rebuilding, a great analogy for the writer’s life. I try not to act like Templeton (remember Paul Lynde did his voice in the movie) although he makes a great character.


    • How many of us have a similar memory of a life-enhancing moment. Just now we are enjoying that thrill with our two young grandchildren. To be the oneswho show Chelsea the many possibilities of those fresh-fallen chestnuts from our walk, or to point out for Ben a yellow and black caterpillar humping through the grass and watch him bend and gently stretch his chubby finger to tickle it, well. These are the best times of our lives.


  3. I’d say Charlotte, because I keep on keeping on and suppose I shall till I pass away. I have a grandma, who’s a good example. She’s in her 80’s full of spirit who keeps on going too and does more than probably a lot of people in their 20’s. I loved Charlotte’s Web. It’s one of my favorite books I remember my mama reading to me and I read it aloud to my daughter as well.


    • What a lovely tradition you have. That’s the kind of thing that treasured books and stories do. They let us be part of something outside of ourselves, thus birthing a love of reading that never dies. Thanks for telling us your family’s story traditions, especially surrounding Charlotte’s Web.


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