Late October Reflections – 2021

October 27

My research classes always begin

with a simple but-oh-so important question

when one stops to consider

an essential foundation for research and life

“What did you notice today?”

late october 2021 1


Before the last class on October 23

I was reminded of something

that has caught my attention recently

In the early morning or late afternoon

when the sun is just rising or setting

thin shimmering threads that are otherwise invisible

are suddenly revealed as strands of light

covering the lawn, connecting the tips of grass

bridges created by tiny spiders quivering in the breeze

that only they can safely travel


Last evening just before sundown

when the light was just right again

I noticed the shining threads were all missing

perhaps washed away by intervals of rain

during the past few days

I am hopeful the spiders will continue to weave

their shimmering threads because it’s their nature to spin

it’s not just the rain that erases their handiwork

I am sure they have had much to repair

after I have passed through their landscapes

unaware of the wonder of their silken threads


I am reminded of a poem, The Fool’s Prayer by Edward Rowland Sill (1936)

“These clumsy feet, still in the mire,

Go crushing blossoms without end;

The hard, well-meaning hands we thrust

Among the heart-strings of a friend…

Be merciful to me, a fool!”


Spinning creations of beauty and light

through one’s work seems a never-ending task

In the future I will try to remember to notice

the lives that I might unintentionally threaten

 with “clumsy feet still in the mire”

Work Cited:

Sill. E. R. (1936). The fool’s prayers. In H.S. Schweikert, R. B. Inglis, & J. Gehlmann, Eds., Adventures in American literature. New York: Harcourt, Brace and Company, 670-671.


My attempts to find information on the internet about tiny spiders that spin threads between blades of grass not webs were unsuccessful. I mostly found advertisements about how to get rid of spiders in lawns that I didn’t bother to read.


October 27

Rainy day work processing chard

Washing, chopping, blanching

getting it ready to freeze

watching the second hand

make it around three times

on the battery-powered wall clock

mounted above the stove

as I breathe in the warm, misty

chard-scented air


(Believing it would save time,

I once tried the timer on my iphone

but being inept with technology

the phone set off alarms

for the battery-backup surge protectors

used for computers and appliances

throughout my house

It’s not an experience I’m willing to repeat

But I digress …)


I had time to think during the interstices

as the chard blanched before bathing in cold water

I wondered if what I have done as a teacher

made any difference in the lives of students

reminding me how grateful I am for teachers

who made a difference in my life

all sharing valuable lessons

including those who provided clear examples

of what I hoped never to become


‘though teaching seems a never ending task

I feel blessed doing work that may open up possibilities

perhaps mostly in humble, invisible ways

But it’s time for reflections to end for now

The blanched chard is packed in freezer bags,


All too soon, the weather will be doing so, too…


late october 3



For more information about chard:

12 thoughts on “Late October Reflections – 2021

    1. It’s always a gift to hear from you, Andrea, and to read your lovely reflections. It’s clear you do take time to notice what’s around and within you and celebrate all you see with strikingly vivid eloquence. Sending my gratitude and best wishes. 💜

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Mmm. Beautiful thoughts.

    But I can’t help but wonder: who the hell wants to get rid of spiders that live in lawns?! How weird!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for your kindness and humor, Stacey. I was concerned when the only links I could find were from exterminators. I found the same thing when I searched for information about how to attract ants to some of the peonies in my garden (the flowers don’t bloom otherwise). All I could find was information about how to get rid of ants!


  2. Chard is one of my favourites. I never plant it, it just comes up, from a plant I let go to seed years ago. Boiled with a dab of butter is a wonderful meal. I think about the things I tread upon, to them I am a monster. It’s only justice I will be crushed asunder in due time. 🙂

    I laughed at your alarms going off -that’s a powerful phone.

    It was a gift to see your post. Take care. Bob

    Liked by 1 person

    1. it’s always wonderful to hear from you, Bob, and see your exquisite photos and read your reflections.

      I used to have volunteer chard and romaine lettuce in a garden at my last house. Did you know they can grow 6 feet high? They can! It made me laugh because I had such unpleasant neighbors on one side who hated gardens. They thought gardens were too messy. And I admit they often were… There’s never enough time to get everything done because I’m always trying something new. The new owner of the house found me here several years after I moved to thank me for the gardens, though, and told me the unpleasant neighbors hated her, too.

      But technology is not something I enjoy. I may never learn how to use my phone for anything other than phone calls, texting, or photos. But setting off the alarms was funny, although not something I plan to repeat.

      Thank you for your delightful comments, dear friend. 💜


  3. Great post Carol on being mindful. I too have disturbed the spiders as I didn’t see the webs as I walked right into them while thinking about something else. I always apologize, but they pay no attention and go right back to building. I used to volunteer working with children in bereavement and wondered if I was making a difference in their lives, and then I realized, they had actually made a difference in mine.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for such thoughtful, delightful comments, Michele. It is true that the people we may think we’re helping actually help us more in unexpected ways. 💜


Comments are closed.

Blog at

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: