A spider’s gentle movement across my hand caused me to wake. Through my morning daze, I watched as it carefully navigated the rough terrain of my hand, being sure to step over each knuckle and avoid the gaps between my fingers. It measured no bigger than the dime on top of my dresser, and its color resembled the shade of coal. I continued to observe the small spider’s struggle to manage its journey on my hand; with every two steps it turned and took three more in the opposite direction. It looked as if it were the pupil of some eye moving back and forth unsure of where to look. Does the spider see me watching it? Am I being watched? The steps of the spider enflamed my nerves, and I knew, in that moment, we were connected as one.
Eventually, the spider made its way off my hand, and the connection broke. I walked downstairs to pour myself a cup of coffee. I sat at the window. The sky was a patchwork of grays. It seemed a child had gotten his hands on box of Crayola crayons, exclusively filled with grays, and decided to color the sky. I took another sip of coffee. I heard the pounding wind against the sides of my cabin; I saw its effects in trees as they swayed almost to the point of snapping; I felt its chill as the air swooshed in through my window’s small opening. Winter seemed out of breath. I finished my coffee.
I decided to venture outside to submit myself to the wind. The amount of snow has lessened from the day prior, and the ice blanketing the creek has shattered into small blotches, yet the large trees, unable to bend in the breeze, still look as if someone had plucked them and dipped them in a concoction of melted bone. My boots crunched with each step, and I soon came upon a snowman composed of snowflake cells. Behind this snowman, I found a fox searching for food. Its coat matched that of the snow, and I watched its methodical movements. Then, I saw a small, white rabbit in its path. The rabbit sat, praying in the snow, until it noticed the fox looming behind it. This queued the unsuspecting rabbit to bolt, which in consequence, prompted the fox to lunge with all its might. The fox’s razor-like teeth then pierced the soft, warm flesh of the rabbit. I watched the fox’s quick movements as it yanked the squirming rabbit up from snow by its back. The rabbit’s arms and legs created a blur as they fiercely moved, since it thought it still stood a fighting chance at survival. The fox proceeded to thrash its head from side to side, while maintaining its grip. Blood oozed out. The same actions that drained the rabbit of life helped create sustenance to fuel the fox. Once the fighting stopped, the fox laid the carcass on the pure snow, which began to boil with the seeping blood. The fox let the air fill its lung; it slurped the blood of its prey and tasted its flesh; it shared brutality with winter and sought survival.
I journey onward down the creek to discover the hidden crevasses in Earth’s skeleton that only the bareness of winter can reveal. I see the gentle movement of the snow and spiders, and I observe chaotic twitches of the foxes, wind, and rabbits. I watch complexity. I am complexity. They are complexity. We are complexity.