Economic Forecasts

spider's web with rainSo we’re all going to be poor for the rest of our lives, comparatively poor in any case.

Right, well let’s have a look at the nice picture.

It’s not a very good picture.  Difficult to spot, right in the middle, is a small, rather dull-looking spider.  Despite the visceral shudder that goes through me at the sight of spiders, I have a lot of affection for them – almost as much as I have for worms.

The spider is one of the great cleaner-uppers of our planet.  They pad about the place hoovering up all sorts of mites and weeny pests that would otherwise over-proliferate and upset the balance of life.  They are dignified, quiet and self-possessed in their solitary mission.  And they trap all sorts in their extraordinary webs.

Those wonderful webs.  They are made of a material stronger, weight for weight, than steel, and are essentially a mesh made up of some of the very few straight lines that nature has to offer.  When the web gets broken, the spider just fixes it. 

It probably spends a goodly amount of its waking time working on the web, keeping it taut and whole, ready to do its dual job of snare and dinner gong.  The spider in the picture is probably having a rest, the pragmatic choice, as it all looks a bit wet for much to be around in the way of snacks.  All said and done, it’s just a bog-standard spider, in a bog-standard web among some bog-standard nasturtiums and love-in-a-mist in a bog-standard garden, draped and weighted with the night’s rain.

And…

Every droplet sparkling on the thread like a bead of light is teaming with life.  As the sun ascends towards noon, the watery sphere will evaporate and appear to disappear into nothing and the life inside it will have had its day and in its death will become food for something else.  As it dries, the spider’s web will become more receptive to the little flying things, which have just emerged into the warmth and the light, doing their little dances with gravity as they bob, dart, meander, careen and zoom through their progress.

One of them will find its purpose to be the food of the spider, and will have had its day.  It’s good to have a purpose.  The nasturtiums will gradually twist open as the Spring spreads itself into Summer and they will bloom and fade, come and go, as this year’s bees feed from them and, in so doing, accidentally, incidentally, fertilize the fruits, the grains, the nuts, the vegetables and help create this year’s harvest.

Maybe it will be a good year, maybe it won’t; fortunes rise, fortunes fall but the earth will always be beautiful.  For me, the true wonder is not that the earth is so beautiful, but that our minds are wired to find it so.

No purpose or message to this, I just thought it would be nice to look at a picture of a spider’s web sparkling in the morning sun.  In a post-truth world, in which we’re said to be living, sometimes bog-standard little things can anchor us, like the web is anchored, oh so securely, to the trembling stem.

Om Tare Tuttare Ture Soha

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