She was waiting. As I cut away dead heads from foxgloves, blooms once bloated with the sound of bees peppered seeds amongst the tansy leaves below. Some, as they fell, caught in her web and made her flinch, but she stayed guard. 

Three leaves were bent, but living still, and wrapped in a silk so fine that as I tapped their stems, back lit, I saw the white suspended egg sack move and a hundred tiny spiderlings burst within the fine spun biodome. 

I’d strayed. Threatened her nursery with clumsy feet and careless snips of secateurs – her life, this unnatural summer long, cocooned within the safety of these plants. A world condensed to flower beds and stems that she called home, now my rediscovered sanctuary too.