Join us for one of our services at the Zendo: 18005 Vashon Highway SW, Vashon, WA 98070, (previously Island Funeral Services.) Feel free to come 10 minutes early for instruction, or just jump right in.

  • Sunday Service: 10:00am-12pm
    Early Sunday Sit: 8:30-9:30am
  • Monday – Friday: 6:30-7:30am
  • Monday Evening: 7:00-8:45pm
  • Wednesday Evening: 7:00-8:30pm

Spider story

Spider story

As I sat sipping my morning coffee, watching the forest wake up, it clicked – curiosity can loosen fear’s
grip on one’s self

A daddy long-leg spider has taken up residence in my bathroom, next to the toilet where the master
bath meets the wall. I noticed the beautiful creature a few months ago. She remains a calm and
peaceful addition to my bathroom. I check on her in the middle of the night when I wake up to go to the
bathroom. I notice where she is in her intricate invisible web in the morning. Usually her legs spread
light and graceful from her body. She appears to be hanging in space, resting, peaceful but alert. She
returns my morning greeting with silence, not indicating disturbance by the light or air movement of my
entrance. She stays in the moment, ready to handle any situation. She receives a good night blessing
before I go to bed. I reflect on her delicate beauty. Last night, her legs were unusually bent with her
body scrunched near the wall. She did not look well. I gently blew on the web to see what reaction
there would be. The web moved, but she did not react to the stimulus. I went to bed pondering the life
of a daddy long-leg spider. To my surprise, my friend greeted me with grace ever so beautifully hanging
in space. I am grateful for more moments with her.

Berneta was my roommate during my first sesshin (October, 2018). I was getting into bed when I
shrieked. Berneta came silently to check on me. She found me frozen and pointing to a rather large,
huge in fact, brown hairy-legged spider crawling on my bed. Thinking quickly, she put her finger in the
air. I took it as “you’ll be okay, give me a second”. She came back not with a broom or a shoe but with a
glass and a piece of paper. Ever so gently, she managed the spider into the glass and swiftly went
outside to release it. She returned and I was breathing again.

Over the next couple of weeks, I noticed spiders everywhere and started to become more curious about
them. One afternoon, a beautiful black spider with red fuzz around its center, a cousin to daddy long-
legs I’m sure, caught my eye. I took a picture of it and sent it to Berneta. She told me her story of her
love of spiders and since then I’ve put my broom and shoe back in the closet to be pulled out only for
their intended purpose.

–Karen Hedlund