Two months ago, when Spring was new and each day felt like an unexpected gift, something to be explored and savored sweetly and with a lazy diligence, I didn't mind the spider webs. They were small things, trifles, barely perceptible as we passed under the budding trees. The spiders were tiny then, barely seen and their webs were little more than a breeze, catching on the scruff of my cheek or the point of my elbow, a tickle that could be brushed away with the back of my hand. But now, like the summer, they have grown bloated and thick, heavy as a thunder cloud, as troubling as lightning.
This morning near the end of our walk, after we'd circled the property, played a quick game of fetch in the park, Duncan and I were headed home when he led me through the wide, grassy area between several of the buildings, thick with trees and low shrubs, where the grass grows tall and squirrels and bunnies hide, leaving only the tips of their tails or translucent ears––golden in the sunlight––visible. He'd spotted a rabbit, small and new and quick to startle, and pulled hard on his leash as it darted under the low boughs of a tall spruce. Dunc followed, dragging me between the sharp needles and the soft leaves of a tall shrub growing next to it. I cried out as he pulled me forward where I could clearly see the thick silver threads of an enormous web, feet wide and as intricately built as lace, glistening with dew, shimmering in the early sun, waiting for me, everything that the playful strands of Spring were not.
There was little I could but close my eyes and mouth as it pulled taut across my nose, then my cheeks, wrapped around my head, catching on my shoulders and tearing––something I could actually hear!––as I passed through it. I felt it catch in my hair, its frayed ends alighting on my shoulders and back. I groaned loudly and pulled Dunc, who'd stepped under the thing, away from the bush he was frantically nosing his way into, across the parking lot toward home where I spent the next five minutes patting myself down, running my fingers through my hair, wiping my face, changing shirts and dancing the heebie jeebies while he watched and waited patiently for his breakfast to be served.