Santa Tarancha

She moves so slowly and carefully we were able to pop a little Christmas beanie on her.  Well.... It’s Chile in December ;-)

Santa Tarancha

5th December 19

My younger son has developed an extraordinary and consistent interest in reptiles and arachnids.  I have no idea how this came to pass.  My elder son used to read nature books cover to cover, but kept to more conventional interests in pets.  Not so the younger.  I have always believed it important to explore one’s interests wherever practical or possible and so I never sought to steer either of them too overtly.  Consequently, I now find that snakes and spiders live under my roof.  Big spiders that is.  Tarantulas.

The snakes were surprisingly fairly easy to get used to.  Astonishingly easy actually.  I would go so far as to say that I am quite fond of them.  The spiders I thought I would never be in harmony with, and would have to simply steel myself to know they were in the house, hoping for an eventual feeling of necessary toleration.  

There is a definite difference between individual spiders, they have what I cannot call personality, but perhaps a “spider” ality.  They are most certainly creatures with individual characteristics.  I was anxious at meeting my first tarantula, to the point of damp palms and a raised heart rate before we were even in the same room.   But having grappled with my panic I was able, from a safe vantage point,  to observe that the behaviour was not at all what I expected.  Roxy is a Chilean Rose and she is a very ponderous girl.  She moves nothing like the speed of light and the delicate way in which she carefully places each individual spidery leg is inexplicably hypnotic and relaxing.  I kid you not.  I was comfortable enough to have her in my hand after ten minutes in her company.  Nobody was more astonished about that than me!  I find her strangely compelling and I do like to handle her regularly.  I've never got to that stage with the "Golden Kneed" Fluffy though and have given myself permission to not push that one!

I would not go so far as to recommend arachnids because they are not for everyone.  But I would absolutely recommend cultivating the open mindedness to recognise that sometimes, our preconceived ideas become blocks that prevent us seeing things as they actually are.  These can stop us accessing experiences that might be fulfilling and unique and which might broaden our sphere of experience, both of ourselves and of this wondrous world we inhabit.  Becoming comfortable with Roxy has been strangely liberating; I am just a little bit more connected with everything and a little bit less controlled by fear...