Sunday, April 6, 2008


Writing Exercise: Consider crickets.

I used to spend my summers away from the Midwest. Every summer I went to my dad's in Seattle and I returned home to Southern Minnesota at the end of August. Coming back would envelope me in heat and humidity, verdant, the great arch of canopy over the road as my mom drove me home. That first night, in bed, the curtains waved around on the breeze. To finally sleep in my room, in the heat ,with the sounds of people moving through the house. A thin sheet over me. The night pulsing with cricket noises. Is a cricket compelled to chirp in unison with its cousins? Is my heart compelled to beat along with the sound?

Years later returning from a shorter vacation. From the Northwest again, perhaps my Stepsister's wedding. My son was little. The first summer we had moved into our house and he was only one and a half. I carried him on my hip and pulled the screen door open. He stopped me with his head cocked to one side, "What's that noise?" (His question may have been less articulate but I got the gist.) It took a minute. I paused at the threshold of our house in the darkness. A moment were my attention moves over the great galaxy of my brain, coming back to the night, to the moving darkness, to his weight on my hip, the humidity, my breath carrying it in and out. And there it was, the curtain of crickets pulsating in the air, descending into my consciousness. A blanket of sound and time. Of gratefulness, of pure being, in this moment, in this place. Time freezes right there, no boundaries because it is rich with the texture of every summer, every moment, full of heightened attention. Full of crickets.

As Always,