I love EB White’s Charlotte’s Web. No matter how many times I read it – from my own childhood sitting on the back seat of a vinyl station wagon seat while the backs of my knees stuck to the bench, in parenthood sharing it with my own little ones, and as an educator -hoping to see the tale ignite a love of reading in young eyes – I still fall in love with it each and every time. Not because I like spiders or the feeling of walking into a web face first doesn’t give me that creepy feeling that I can’t shake off- but I love the story- the characters – talking animals in a barnyard- the ability to look deeper as a life schema.
I think I loved Charlotte’s Web enough that when I read it to my own children years ago the pages seemed to turn themselves in almost a one session sit down memorable read – met by shiny bright smiling eyes and crooked toothy grins atop hand held leaning chins when I imitated the voices I’d imagined for Templeton, Charlotte, and Wilbur. For me, it’s seeing what isn’t easy to notice and finding the value in it – recognizing the extraordinary in the ho hum – finding wonder in the most dire situation.
That’s how I felt when I came across a dewy morning lit web hosting a rather inconspicuous arachnid on the back deck – had I not carefully considered what was delicately placed before me stretched between the shady edge of the house and the splintered railing, I’d have missed the intricacy of the lacework web and just been a sticky mess with a spider crawling over me in an ‘unpin-pointable’ location. I appreciate the reminder my Charlotte gave me – it’s like she was saying stop and notice – there’s always more than is easily seen at first glance.