I spend days and evenings analyzing difficult novels in preparation for class discussions. I read to decipher the text, to find meaning in every word, every comma. When I sat down the other night to continue reading Charlotte’s Web with Carson, I didn’t expect to be changed by the words of E. B. White. Buried in a story of talking animals, imagination, and colored pictures, I was reminded of an important truth about life.
A quick recap: Fern, a young girl has befriended a farm full of animals. One, in particular, Wilbur (the pig), is in danger of being butchered. Charlotte, a spider living in the corner of the barn, has decided to save Wilbur by writing into her web, “Some Pig” in order to draw positive attention to Wilbur. She is successful. People come from all over to revel at this pig and the words beautifully formed in a spider’s web. Fern tells her mother all about her time at the barn and she speaks of the animals as though they are human. She tells her mother of conversations she has with the spider, the pig, the geese and the sheep. Her mother is very concerned and checks in with the doctor to see if he thinks she should be concerned with her daughter’s behavior. Their conversation:
‘I’ve been hearing things about that pig,’ said Dr. Dorian, opening his eyes. ‘They say he’s quite a pig.’
‘Have you heard about the words that appeared in the spider’s web?’ asked Mrs. Arable nervously.
‘Yes,’ replied the doctor.
‘Well, do you understand it?’ asked Mrs. Arable.
‘Do you understand how there could be any writing in a spider’s web?’
‘Oh, no,’ said Dr. Dorian. ‘I don’t understand it. But for that matter I don’t understand how a spider learned to spin a web in the first place. When the words appeared, everyone said they were a miracle. But nobody pointed out that the web itself is a miracle.’
I was reminded that life is a miracle. Our daily activities have become so ordinary and commonplace, that we forget how amazing life is. Every detail of the way things work is evidence that life is a miracle. Our August miracles:
- The sun rose every day to help our garden grow perfectly: tomatoes, zucchini, and cucumbers in abundance.
- Bracken figured out how to spray water out of hose.
- Carson continued to improve in her swimming, going the full distance across the pool. And Bracken began to do his own share of “swimming” on his own.
- Bracken’s language allows for him to have in depth conversations with us.
- Family visits, allowed for a realization that there is a special connection that is shared by family. Love flows abundantly.
- Sarah and Anthony are wonderful with children and our kids love having the Ledonnes around.
- Nick finds the energy every day to train for his marathons.
- We both love our jobs.
- Carson and Bracken sing together and dance together.
- Evie moved to Sacramento and we realized how much we loved having her close, but found that we appreciated the new excuse to visit the beautiful tree-filled city of Sacramento.
- There are large rocks in our backyard that are perfect for climbing and picnicking.
- Our homegroup shared laughter as we watched our kids dance, climb and wrestle one another.
- Carson has learned to use many different colors when she paints. Although a mixture of all the colors makes a miraculous brown, it is wonderful to see pictures vibrant with all the colors of the rainbow.
- We realized that camping can be fun with children…you just have to pick the right campground.
- The sun set every evening to allow for a pinkish sky and a star-filled darkness.
So, a spider web may be commonplace, maybe even a nuisance, but when you look at it closely and analyze the details, it is clear that it is a miracle. So it is with life.