Spider Overcoming My Fear – Part 2

Spider Overcoming Fear – Part 2


I didn’t really give the spider that much thought for quite a few years. I didn’t kill them any more, I would scoop them up on a piece of paper or paper towel when I encountered them and take them outside.

And I started championing them, that is, when people freaked out when they saw a spider and went for their shoe I would stop them, scoop them up and take them outside or create a diversion so that the spider could get away.


Then I bought my first house 407 Craven Rd. in Toronto, just a couple of blocks from the beach, the Animals loved it. I remember very clearly bringing in my plastic pink Adirondack chair from the patio and there was quite a big spider hanging off of it. He startled me but I heard him very clearly in my head or rather another way to understand that was I had a very clear thought in my head. Fall is here and winter is coming, us spiders come inside in the winter or we will die. You won’t see us we stay up and hidden in the day and only come out at night a little when we need to when you are sleeping.


I thought about that and said okay I want you and your friends and family to come in and be safe for the winter but I mean it no dangling or walking on me. Just like you said you stay hidden in the day and can come out at night but if I am up late working then you have to climb back up. And so I came to an understanding with the spider. He explained his dilemma to me and I explained my problem to him and, we came to a resolution, win win.


We then moved to Oshawa. And there were a lot of spiders in Oshawa but by that point I was okay with that. When I moved in I told them my rules, which they were of course fine with. And once in a while I’d see a spider who I would say hello to or ask what he/she was doing and every once in a while I would let them know I was going to clean corners or a cobweb or I had to clean up a web that had been built in the wrong place, and we lived in harmony.


The spiders don’t really want to have anything to do with humans, after all they are nocturnal, they live very differently from us and really humans when they encounter other species they tend to try and control them or wipe them. Although I lived in harmony with the spiders I didn’t really engage on a regular basis with them. We certainly never played together until.


We were moving, me and my Animal Family were leaving Oshawa, everything, practically everything was packed. I woke up a couple of days before moving day and there is a very big spider looking at me from my sink. He looks right at me and shoots me a thought I can’t get out, could you please help me it’s too slippery. Wow he was a biggy, I could see his eyes pleading with me as well as hear the thought he had sent me in my head, I remember thinking it was kind of funny that he couldn’t get out, he looked extremely capable. But I took a dishcloth that was quite thick and dry and laid it along the floor and wall of the sink so that he could get some traction and scamper up it, and get out which is exactly what he did.


“Thank you” came the thought. Then I didn’t think about it any more, a lot to do moving day is almost upon us. The next morning I got up and who do I encounter in the sink but Spider again, there he is again looking straight at me. And I immediately hear/ have the though in my head, could you please get me out I can’t get out of here.


As I was thinking wait a minute, I think this spider is playing with me I was reaching for the thick dishcloth. He scampered out of the sink on the dishcloth that I laid out and I heard the thought thank you. And I said to him you weren’t really stuck, you were just playing with me and he was laughing and saying that is true. It was his way of showing his love and respect for the time we had shared together me and my family and him and his family and friends. It made me cry a little, it still makes me cry when I think about it.


Thank you Spider for that wonderful playful Goodbye.

All Our Love

Christine and The Animals

Spider Overcoming My Fear ~ Part 1 of Three Parts

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This story begins long ago. I was one of those kids that used to put milk out for the neighborhood strays in hopes that one would decide to stay.


My brother used to bring home stray baby birds, he and my mother would nurse them back to health. And my sister who loved animals was severely allergic to fur so our Animal Family were feathered or reptilian.


Through the years I have run into quite a few people who as children used to put milk or other things out for the cats or other animals that they loved that lived near to where they lived.


I begin with this because most kids speak to and understand the animals. It is in growing up, going through adolescence, our rights of passage to the next phase of human life that people sometimes forget how to communicate with the natural world.


This is why I begin my story of explanation with a spider. Many humans fear the spider who eats mosquitoes, and other insects that humans find bothersome. The Native Americans would say that Spider is powerful medicine, I would agree.

And the majority of spiders in Ontario where I grew up and have spent most of my life are not poisonous and do not hurt people so there is no reason for me to be afraid of spiders.


However many years ago I found myself with the opportunity of my dreams. Zalman Yanovsky, former guitarist for The Loving Spoonful and his wife Rose Richardson, both now in spirit offered me an apartment to live in attached to their house in the country with my own studio out in the forest. It was a hobby farm with cats and dogs, peacocks, guinea fowl, sheep chickens/roosters. And a barn where the big Spiders lived.


I was invited over for dinner where we proceeded to have a wonderful dinner, the animals sat with us and got to lick the plates which made me feel like I had found some of my people. And then Zalman said okay we ‘re going to go down to the barn and I’m going to tell you about the sheep.


Zalman explained to me how to feed and water and let the sheep in and out . We would be taking turns I would be responsible two days a week for giving them breakfast, water, letting them out and then bringing them back into the barn before night time. And if they went away I was in charge. So how joyful, I think I may have seen a big spider, a big hairy spider and I asked about them.

And Zalman said there are spiders in the barn, they don’t really bother you but in the morning if you come down before the sun has shone down onto their webs in the barn they will be dangling down, so if it is rainy they might be dangling longer than usual. “ We just put a jacket over our head and get to it. Once you start moving around they will disappear. “ARE YOU KIDDING ME’


And Zalman said listen if you really want to do this and live out here you will have to get used to the spiders, you need to go home and think about it. It is a commitment and you will have to get used to the spiders, they do live in the barn.


Actually I was kind of hoping he’d say “ If you see a big spider just come and get me and I’ll get rid of it for you”

Yeah thinking about it, some help I’d be taking care of the animals if every time I saw a spider I had to run and get someone for help, that was most definitely a city girl thought.


Okay this was my dream come true, a Studio out in the country with animals to live amongst and paint. I new Tyrone, my cat was going to love this but I would have to commit to loosing my fear of spiders because I couldn’t live in fear of the barn, that is where the wonderful sheep were and I loved the sheep.


I remember going home that night, and Rose and Zalman insisted I take a few days to think it over, I had until Thursday.


I new I was going to do it, but I remember going home, and pacing, being so excited about a dream come true and also thinking about one of my greatest fears, the spider, I was going to have to learn to deal. I remember thinking if Rose and Zalman can do it I can do it to. That has always been one of my great thoughts: “ If someone else can do it, that means it is doable and I can do it to, my Mother taught me that.


So I paced and thought about the spiders and I thought about all of the other animals and the Beautiful studio out in the country, it’s own separate building in the middle of the forest with a little dirt path and skylight windows that ran down half the wall, a huge space, that would be all mine to paint in, my own studio just to paint in and all of the animals running about and I thought who cares about the spiders.


And Rose and Zalman had a system in place. If it was a rainy day or they came down early they would use the side entrance to the barn, a normal door. As soon as you opened the door there was a coat hook and there was a big jacket hanging on one of the pegs that you could then put over your head and go through the other entrance or go through the barn and give the sheep breakfast and let them out.


The three years I lived at the farm changed my life in such a beautiful and incredible way, thank you wise spider.

By the time I left the farm I respected the spiders.

My Painting of Pigeon


 Rip December 2016

For thirteen years we lived next to little India in the Beach in Toronto. Leo and I encountered many pigeon’s. We watched them do their circuit training every day between 11:00 am and noon, and again between 4 and 5 pm. Leo and I would stop and watch them all fly together and Leo told me to ask them why they did that, so I asked them one day what they were doing and they called it circuit, like circuit training. They gather and practice flying together and it becomes more perfect and they gather power and they fly together in unison over and over again.


This is a painting of Pigeon, Pigeon was one of our Kincardine neighbors and he loved having his belly rubbed. Leo and I would see him two or three times a week depending on the weather and he enjoyed a good belly rub. We are sorry to see you go Pigeon but we know that we will be seeing you again soon wearing another body.


Love and Light

Christine and The Animals