Magens Bay --San Thomas

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Old-Post Resurrection Hop: My Tiny Spider

(This write up is re-posted as part of Old-Post-Resurrection Hop)

For the Scottish, they have the Legend of Bruce and the Spider, a story of a spider who never gives up, as the inspirational tale passed on from generation to generation. Parents who have heard of it from their parents tell the very same legend to their children, continuing the incessant cycle, so that the story of Bruce and the spider is forever etched into the oral traditions of the Scottish, engraved in time. For the Chinese, the legend goes along a similar plot line: Long, long ago in the land that lies far east, one that stretches from the frosty, ice-capped peaks of the Himalayas to the lush Changjiang Basins vibrant and abundant in wildlife, there was a distraught king. This king of China had recently lost to his arch-enemies and was devastated. The result of the battle was detrimental. His once-almighty army had been defeated, the remnants battered, and his prosperous kingdom obliterated forever, the remaining shreds scattered in the winter wind. All his hard effort, gone in the blink of an eye. Although he had struggled in combat to the very end, he was left in bitter despair, arid as the long nights of winter, and with his soldiers beaten down. He could not bear to witness the last remnants of his army slaughtered like pigs in the battlefield, so he ordered them to leave despite their outraged arguments, their angry protests still ringing in his ears. The cries and wails of the battlefield filling his ears. The laughter of his enemies mocking him, jeering at him...

Alone, he went inside a rundown temple, admitting defeat. As he walked in, his thoughts winged back to the time when his kingdom was at its peak. He recalled gazing out of his palace window and into the spring morning, birds chirping and doves cooing in the peach blossom trees of his garden. He recalled thinking, I can wish for no more. His kingdom was at peace with its neighbors, and his peasants content with his rule. He was reminiscing all the glory during his reign. He heaved a sigh of resignation and decided that he no longer wanted to live. Every object, every moment of his life was a painful reminder of what was past. The gold Buddha his past wealth and the dusty mats the service of his servants. So he tore up part of his clothes and tied them onto the ceiling, wishing to commit suicide. As he was finishing up his last knot, he spotted a tiny spider spinning its web, clinging onto the wooden frame of the temple. He was fascinated and stopped for a moment to watch, eyes riveted on the creature. Just as the intricate web was completed, the wind came rushing in, blowing away the spider's web. The strands broke apart and were carried on with the current of cold air, dispersed. The spider gave it a second try and returned to its tedious work.

As if nature knew how to tease this little spider, each time when the web was finally finished, the freezing wind would blow it away. The king watched intently and felt amazed at how this tiny spider never gave up. After an umpteenth time, the little creature finally succeeded in weaving its elaborate, spiral web of silver thread.

-- courtesy of

The king understood this little lesson from the Buddha. Somehow, the tiny spider had passed on its unwavering spirit to him. The king thought: As long as he never gave up, he would succeed someday. The King gathered up his remaining soldiers. And together with his never faltering spirit, they had finally led a sweet victory.

I remembered telling this legend innumerable times to my girls when they were young. Little did I know, my teenage girl Pepper, took it to her heart...

Back in January of this year, she and her partner wrote their first biz plan –30 pages explicitly explaining Pepper's very own idea on building an application for smart phones. (We are working on patenting her idea.)  Feeling highly accomplished and content, despite her partner's absence, she went to compete with their biz plan with others teenagers from all over Northern part of our state. She went on full of confidence, but arrived home shattered. The mirror of her confidence broken into a million shards. She had scored 75 out of 100. Just like the king, she was crying and distressed.

Between her tears, she decided to pick up those pieces of the mirror, mend them to the best of her ability, so that once again the reflection in it was whole, complete. Unlike before, when her image had been hazy and distorted. She took all of the feedback she had received and rewrote (yes, READ: rewrote) the whole biz plan so she could compete in State. – Another 30 pages and new presentation within one month. She was faced with yet another challenge as her partner and her partner's parents gave up and decided not to spend too much time on it. My girl never gave up. She pressed on and kept on encouraging her partner. With a lot of hard work and countless hours, finally they were ready and went on to the State competition.  Just like the king who had won the war back, my girl and her partner have placed in the top 10. (They scored 96 out of 100)

To me, my girl has placed in the 1st place the minute she decided to keep on trying and to persevere, even when she was in tears and was at her hardest times, the obstacle in her path. For Pepper, being placed in the top 10 has taught her that success will come if she keeps on trying, that hard work pays off. As for her partner, she was inspired and learned the spirit of not giving up. A cobweb can shiver in the breeze, but not be swept away into the embrace of despair. I heard her parents were very proud of their daughter. :) At the end, I am very thankful to the tiny spider who has inspired my girl not to give up in reaching out for her dream, despite the countless ruts and bumps in the road to success. She had woven her own spider web, one that shimmers and gleams in my heart even though the intricate design of gossamer beads has long been blown away by the wind-- Turning her into my very own tiny spider.

I hope you enjoy this part of my journey meeting my tiny spider and hope this  legend of The Tiny Spider and The King, which has influenced my girl's life profoundly, will live on and being passed on.

Until next stop,
Journey of Life



  1. The spider so resonates for me as I have this spider on our front porch who will not be conquered; daily, she/he weaves the most elaborate web connecting the rocker to the planter. Thick and obvious, and I have to sweep it away, otherwise we look like a haunted house. By the next morning the web is always back. I wish I had such perseverance! Love this post. ANd glad you linked up! Make sure you go back and comment on the other posts. I'll remind them as well:)

    1. Thank you for the reminder and stopping by, Sandra! It was on my to-do list (with pleasure, of course) but didn't get to it earlier.

  2. What a beautiful post! My husband is going through some struggles right now, and I am so grateful that I will have a lovely lesson to share with him. I think our society gives in too easily these days--somewhere, sometime, we've latched onto the 'oh, I guess it wasn't meant to be' thoughts instead of trying over, and maybe over again, to attain your goals. How wonderful to see your daughter is not one to give in when things don't work out the first time. You've done good, Mom!

    1. Thank you. I am very touched with your comment. Hope things would be fine again for your husband.

      I guess we manage to do all right so far.