from the memoirs of an inventor that lived long, long ago
I especially love when the spider webs shine with the sunrise. The little water beads on them make an extraordinary scene in the early morning. Talking about spiders, how they make their webs is also another beauty. It still blows my mind that they can make such long arches despite their tiny bodies. With the colorful designs on their bodies, spiders are the manifestation of beauty that penetrates even into the smallest holes of the earth. As I am talking about spiders, I would like to tell you a lovely memory of mine about how my admiration of them led me to the discovery of my life.
At the time, there was not much to do other than hunting and picking leaves and fruit. I wanted to do something else. For example, the skins that animals had on them were so fitting, flexible, and nice. We used to take them to put on ourselves; but they did not fit us. They did not cover our bodies totally, and they were stinky. I had a desire to come up with a new way of covering our bodies. I used to sit by the spiders and reflect on this idea a lot while watching them make their webs.
Unfortunately, not everyone was appreciative of the spiders and my interest in them. Whenever my father caught me watching the spiders, he used to mock me and reprimand me for being lazy. He always told me that we needed to get going to hunt something edible, in order not to sleep with empty bellies. You can imagine what torture it was for me to hunt. Killing something of beauty is not beautiful… I knew we had to eat to survive. But maybe I was not the right person to do the killing part. I could cook, I could pick fruit…
One day, when I was watching a spider, I saw a cocoon hanging down from the tree. That was it! The cocoon’s cover was what I was looking for: a large spider web woven densely enough to cover us up. You should have seen me when the idea first came. I couldn’t help but smile so broadly. It had been a long time since I had smiled such a joyous smile. I started running and climbed the hills. To get some rest, I watched the valleys below. Then, once again I took off, and soared down from the hill running; my arms wide open like a bird’s wings.
When I came home, empty-handed to be sure, my mother was not happy at all. “If you don’t want your dad to ruin your night, go and find something before he comes,” she said. Fortunately, I knew some trees that were in fruit just then. I rushed to gather from them to make everybody happy.
Later that night, I had a very scary dream. I was running, and then I suddenly fell into a pit where there was a long snake. The snake started to wind itself around me so that I was totally covered. Then I saw that there was a scorpion in the pit, but it could not approach me because of the snake. Frightened, I woke up screaming. My parents came in to check on me. After a second’s silence, my father said, “I told you not to watch those spiders too much.”
Although I was not really bothered, my parents were getting more and more concerned about me. I was growing to the age of marriage, and they wanted me to have sound spiritual health. The next day, we went to the respected man of God in the village for him to interpret my dream and to get some advice. He said, “The snake in your dream did not harm you. So, it is to be hoped that God will bless you with a cover that is going to protect you from worldly and heavenly harms.” This interpretation was definitely unexpected both by me and by my parents.
Soon after that dream, I talked about my inspiration to my mother, and she told me something invaluable. She said that our great great-grandparents had had beautiful things to wear before they came to this world. When they were sent down here, their beautiful clothes were ripped off. Now that I was thinking about making beautiful garments, maybe this was a heavenly message. Mom wanted me to keep this secret.
I did keep my hopes and inspirations secret, but I did not stop working on them. I was finally inspired by another creature: birds. They made their nests by weaving plants and branches together. That observation brought me to the brim of the discovery of my life, but I was not aware of it at the time.
One day, mom wanted to have a private conversation with me. She said that now I was not a girl anymore but a young woman it was time that I united my life with someone else’s. She said that the guests that had come a few days earlier had come to talk about that issue. They asked my parents for me. At first, I was perplexed to hear all this. I wanted to have some time to prepare myself for the idea. Not long after, the preparations for the wedding were underway, and I was very willing because of the person asking for me.
My groom was the man of God that had interpreted my dream. To suit his status, I wanted to wear something special on the day of the wedding, something never seen before. The days were running by too fast, and bothered by my inability to come up with that special thing, I started spending more time with the spider webs by myself. Mom thought that a gloomy state had befallen on me due to my prospective wedding. She tried to reassure me, calm me, but that was not the case at all. As my state persisted, my parents’ worries grew too. They did not want any trouble in this wedding.
Then one day, I received the first gift for my wedding, before the wedding actually happened. I was inspired to weave the leaves and stems of plants to cover myself just like the winding of that snake in my dream and the cocoon of the spider. With the joy of this heavenly gift, I quickly finished making my garment. This discovery was certainly a heavenly beauty that was sent to celebrate my wedding. With the new garment on me, I was so beautiful, and with the man of my life, I was so happy.
Seth Mette has a PhD in Aerospace Engineering and is currently working as a postdoctoral fellow at West Virginia University. He has a special interest in psychological fiction.