Friday, March 21, 2008


This Easter weekend, I am spending my time at the Lakeway Resort and Spa in Lakeway, TX near Austin. The money in this area is, to put it simply, overflowing. Because my family is not particularly wealthy, I still find the abounding wealth staggering. Multi-million dollar houses line Lake Travis on all sides with towering columns and magnificent fountains atop perfectly landscaped and manicured lawns.
Call me legalistic, but I am not fond of such flaunted wealth. Nevertheless, the architecture of such homes astounds me. The creativeness and ingenuity put into these designs are incredible. I do not wonder at the amount of money that it takes to build the house but at the intellect it takes to create it.
However, on my first night at the resort, after a completely overpriced dinner, my brother, father and myself went outside on a balcony to view the landscape of the lake. Under the light of the stars, the lake reflected the white and red lights of houses against the dark blue water in a pure and surreal melody of color. As my brother and father were once again admiring the architecture and design of the homes and the resort, I noticed a small spider upon the railing. This small creature made me begin to think.
It appeared to me ironic that everyone around me in all of their wealth were wondering at the man-made architecture, but this small invertebrate was spinning a web that rivaled, if not completely surpassed, the greatest of all architects with its intricate designs.
Not long after noticing this one little spider, I realized that an entire colony of spiders inhabited the balcony rails. I stopped counting after thirty spiders, fearing that I would soon come to the point of subjecting myself to nightmares of spider attacks that night. The manner in which their individual webs lined the balcony reminded me of the houses that lined the lake, each with its own unique characteristics, but all a masterpiece of design. Perhaps I am personifying the small creatures too much, but I could not help but think how similar our lives are to theirs, just on different levels.
When I returned to my room, my brother informed me that our personal balcony was also "infested" with more than ten spiders. It appears that no matter how much we believe ourselves to be alone in the world, we are not. We find ourselves to be subject to the ways of society and of nature. Fortunately, we are provided with intellect to choose our way of life, not based solely on instinct. One truth we must remember, however, is that we are not alone. I am not one to promote a "united nations" mindset or any stereotypical international community, but everything we do affects others.
Maybe the best thing we can do is follow the spiders examples and adapt to our surroundings. When someone builds a wall on top of your home, take the wall and make it a masterpiece, full of our individual, unique webs—our contributions to the world. Although a global community may be an idealistic concept, it could become a bit more of a reality, not through governments or laws, but through each person's love and concern for others. Each trial we receive in life is a piece of lumber, a strand of silk, which we can either toss to the wind or use to create our homes, our webs, our community.

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