For the second week in March, it’s very hot. The temperatures have soared into the 30s, and I don’t tolerate heat with anything like the grace I would prefer to show – I sweat, my feet swell, I’m sleepy and frequently get testy. But it won’t last, and with this thought I comfort myself, holding out for the Equinox and, later, the promise of Samhain.
After a period of several years -oh, at least 3 – we haven’t seen a single huge, terrifyingly hairy Rain Spider in the house. Before that, they used to pitch up unexpectedly and park on the wall just above the bed, or hover over the doorways, threatening me with their immense size. So I started talking to them, standing right under them, holding forth on all kinds of topics, silently or aloud. After a while, the terror passed, and I accepted them into my life as the beautifully necessary agents of doom for mosquitoes that they are.
Then, just as suddenly as they would loom, they were all gone. Not a single giant arachnid showed up in my house – and I didn’t know whether to be grateful or resentful. Now we have one resident in the bathroom. After it scared the crap out of Warren by dropping onto his shoulder – it was hiding in the towel he whipped off the rail to dry himself after his morning shower – it sulked for a little while between the shower doors, and then moved to a position behind the Fluffy Face Towel, where it seems content to spend the long post-summer days, waiting for prey.
And speaking of predators: we were disturbed this morning by an usual amount of noise from the Luries who live off fruit from the suburban trees. The go-away calls were so loud and insistent that Warren and I went outside to see what the problem was. Just then, with an astounding silence of great big wings, an Owl launched itself out of the Cycad and flew not two feet over my head. I’ve never seen an Owl in the daylight in Bloubosrand before – and I’ve certainly never been so close to one.
Owl returned to the Cycad, where he is well camouflaged against the dry fronds. The Luries have continued to complain all day, and a couple of Pied Crows (of course!) turned up to add to the suburban avian disapproval of this raptor. He has been sitting in that tree all day, his great yellow eyes opening when I approach; blinking slowly at me, shuffling his talons a little, but mostly napping, I think, until night falls and he can see to hunt again.
I feel so damned blessed, sitting here with a ruddy great spider in the bathroom and an owl outside the bedroom, that I start to wonder why and how I ever came to feel fear of this existence. But that fear, like my life-threatening drinking and my terrified ingestion of handfuls of tranquilisers, seems to have melted into the mists of someone-who-was-once-me. Someone I know I was, but who I can never entertain the knowledge of ever becoming again. I have too much Love to lose, now.
Pic: Spotted Eagle Owl gracing me with his presence(enlargement from photo)