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Lessons I learned from my car spider


Every morning when I go to my car, I have spider webs on both side mirrors. And every morning I drive my car and the webs are ruined. Yet, there they are again the next day.

I rarely see the weavers of these webs, but when I do, my admiration for their tenacity causes me to shoo them back behind the mirror to a safe place for our road trip. And, try as I might, I can’t help but apologize to the tiny critters for ruining their creations.

The other day I was driving to town and I casually glanced in my right side mirror. There, clinging to the one remaining strand of his web, was one of my car spiders. He was in a little ball to cut down on wind resistance and I could actually see his little legs wrapped around the bucking strand.

“Ack!” I shouted as though he could both hear and understand me, “Hang on!”

Here’s our story and the lessons I learned from him:

1. Hold on for dear life until things slow down.

Although I considered stopping so he could scurry behind the mirror, there really wasn’t any safe place for me to pull off. So, when I could, I peeked over at him to make sure he was still there. He was and he didn’t move from his place on the strand until I stopped at an intersection.

I was impressed by this little creature’s wisdom to stay where he was and hunker down when he faced a sudden and unexpected storm in his life.

2. Take cover!

As the wind subsided for him when I slowed the car down, the spider rushed up the strand to safety. For some reason, he couldn’t get all the way behind the mirror, but he squished himself up between the mirror and its casing. I could see as I drove along that he was still feeling some of the wind, but he had moved himself to a much safer place.

3. Dash out and work on things during a lull.

At the next stoplight, I was horrified to see the spider dart down the strand about midway as I slowed the car. “Hey!” I shouted again, “Get back in there!” The light was already green and I knew I needed to speed up and create the terrible wind for him again.

During the brief lull, though, he seemed to be working on the strand, perhaps fixing a weak point. His little legs flew in and around the thin filament and I imagined that he felt a sense of urgency to get as much done as he could during this relatively safe period of time.

4. It’s okay to hunker down again if necessary.

As I picked up speed, the spider felt the air rush against him and again scampered to the safety of the top of the mirror.

When I arrived at my destination, I got out of the car and walked around to the right side of the car. I shook my finger at the brave little guy and said, “Now you stay there!” I didn’t really care if passersby thought I was a little goofy to be shaking my finger at a mirror and talking to it. This spider and I had been through the wringer together.

And he did stay there. He perched on top of the mirror all the way home.

5. Keep trying.

The next morning when I went out to my car, there between my mirror and the door was a beautiful, glistening spider web.

Takeaway points: Life’s storms can rise up suddenly and swiftly. Sometimes you have to hang on for dear life for awhile before you can scamper to a more safe and peaceful place, even as the storm rages around you. Wait for lulls in the storm before dashing out to do some repairs and then scurrying to safety again. And remember the spider’s last lesson: Every day he builds a web and (almost) every day it gets destroyed. I have yet to see a spider stomping around complaining about how unfair life is. Instead, he immediately goes about his life’s work of creating, resting, and repairing . . . creating, resting, and repairing.

What lessons do you learn from my car spider?



  1. Lynsey says:

    This was such a lovely article! I also have wing mirror spiders and there webs used to annoy me but this was so lovely, made me smile thankyou!

  2. Approved car repairs and servicing for all makes and types cars, plus engine management fault diagnostic services for all makes and models

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Bobbi Emel is a therapist who helps people in Los Altos, Palo Alto, Mountain View and the greater Bay Area manage their stress and develop their strengths.
She is effective in helping people dealing with anxiety, worry and grief; and also those who want to improve their effectiveness and performance.