the watcher

A perfect web, symmetrical and flawless, stretched between the garage and exterior light.  The spider that had woven it hung nearby under the eaves of the garage waiting for day to turn to night.  Then it crawl down to its delicate creation and walk across to perch in the center and wait for its meal to arrive.  It was a process the little boy had watched for several dusks in a row.  He was captivated by the tiny creature.

The little boy was captivated by all sorts of creatures.  The spider that had adopted his garage was just the latest.  Before, he had watched a hummingbird build a nest in a tree in his backyard until eggs appeared and then hatched and the even tinier birds filled the next and grew and flew away.  Before that, he had watched a caterpillar build a chrysalis and then later break free and fly away as a butterfly.  It had danced in the breeze, graceful, beautiful, and then fluttered lifted up and over his yard’s wall and out of sight.

He had lots of time to sit and watch life.  The vantage point of his chair, his constant companion since the accident, gave him the perfect opportunity to observe, to learn.  At first he had hated the chair, of course.  It had been a prison cell, his punishment for the mistakes that had led to the accident.  Over time he had grown used to it, though, until he had become a part of him.  While that was happening he began to see things around him more clearly.  He never would have noticed the caterpillar if not for the chair.  He’d have been too busy running and jumping, climbing and swinging, dashing about in his normal frenzied play to have seen the slight movement, the less than a breeze stirring it created as it inched down the leaf.  But he had seen it and he had watched all that happened after.  That opened the whole world to him.

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