This week I offer a second meditation from Becoming Rooted, Randy Woodley's latest book of 100 short meditations to help us reconnect with the earth.

Click below to listen to Natural Reminders, then read the short commentary below.

Natural Reminders

I was on a group hike in the hill country of Texas when a spider crossed our path. It was a tarantula, and I leaned in close to get this picture.

Afterward, someone in the group told me, with a smile on his face, that tarantulas can jump. I thought for a moment how close I had come to the spider, and wondered if I had tempted fate. I learned later that I was in no real danger. Most species of tarantulas do not really jump, although they can lung forward at their prey. On the rare occasion that a human is bitten, it is rarely serious. As with most creatures, we humans pose the greater threat.

Even less dangerous are the spiders that inhabit the Pacific Northwest, where I live. We find them in the home from time to time, and, like Randy, we have a policy of catch and release. Catching spiders and other insects is a way to demystify them and reduce the fear we may feel around them. We often catch them in a glass container so we can look at them before setting them free. Enthusiasm for this policy varies within the household, but we all agree that it is important.

Saving spiders, and other insects, can also remind us that we are in the midst of what some scientists are calling "The Insect Apocalypse." Thanks to widespread pesticide use, insect populations are crashing. This is no small matter - insects are an essential part of the food chain, and without them the chain breaks apart.

The next time an insect or spider finds its way into your home, will you consider helping it find its way out?

With you on the Way,


If you enjoyed Natural Reminders, I encourage you to purchase the book it comes from, Becoming Rooted. If you are a Circlewood supporter (our parent ministry), you can just wait a few weeks - we will be sending the book to you and hosting an exclusive webinar with Randy just for you.

To learn more about The Ecological Disciple's parent organization, visit the Circlewood website.