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the river and the spider

all residents of the eco village in costa rica
including kids, dogs, and horses
packing up clothing
gathering mattresses, hammocks, kitchen supplies
heading down towards the valley
some by foot
others on trucks or motorcycles
everyone meeting again at the river spot

setting camp
big dinning area to feed 150 people three meals a day
juice bar with raw desserts and treats
big piles of green coconuts

setting my tent on the river bank
my home for the next four days
underneath the big jungle trees
home of a family of howling monkeys

before sunset everyone gathering for opening circle
singing and drumming
everyone gets to share words or sounds
then sitting down together for half hour of silent meditation

dance party every day with different djs and live musicians
the rest of the time free of any structured activities
dedicating the days to chilling
to becoming one with nature
to spending time with friends

wedding ritual for two village residents
the groom used to be dutch
the bride used to be czech
now they are forest people

all the little children dressed in native american clothing and
painted faces
going one by one to the newly weds and giving them flowers
all the adults in big circle around the couple
performing a dance
throwing our shoulders towards them
sending them waves of love and laughter

sitting inside the river
eating a heavenly fruit named zapote
sweet meaty orange flesh
big black alien-looking pit in the center
tossing the peels across the river
where they will become food for the iguanas and insects and
fertilizer for the trees

didn’t notice the gigantic spider web on the other side
all the zapote peels are now hanging in the air

crossing the river to the other side
the proud architect of the web seems quite upset
it’s a very large spider
known as the golden orb weaver
yellow dots all over its back
and what seems like furry leg warmers on each of its eight legs

my friend who is a serious arachnophobic
telling me she thinks i better try
to remove the peels from the web

slowly pulling out each peel
making sure not to cause too much damage
the big spider evacuating up a tree branch
waiting for me to be done

next day finding my arachnophobic friend
standing near the web
checking on the leg warmer spider
seeing that the web is fully repaired
personal connection formed
beyond the human-spider differences
stronger than the arachnophobia

© 2006. All Rights Reserved.
Zemach Zohar Wilson, Costa Rica, January 2006.

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