Cricket Song

Of a recent evening I gathered with friends round the campfire, praying, singing, and chatting. It was a pristine evening with the Milky Way smudged across the sky and a half-moon off to the east. Hidden in the grasses, crickets sang of summer ending. 

I thought of a chapter in Charlotte’s Web. E.B. White described the cricket song.

“Summer is over and gone. Over and gone, over and gone. Summer is dying, dying.”

For Charlotte, it meant that her life was coming to an end. E.B. White devoted two pages to the emotions stirred by the crickets. Everyone heard the song. Fern Arable knew that school would start soon. Mrs. Arable signed softly, lamenting that another summer had gone. The sheep were so upset that they broke a hole in the fence and wandered across the road. A maple tree turned bright red with anxiety.

“How many nights till frost?” sang the crickets.

Now that is a question that hovers in the mind of my neighbors in Maine. I see firewood dumped in door yards in early July. We had three cords of wood delivered on an eighty degree day that need to be stacked neatly on our porch. 

Soon we will pull up the cucumber plants and turn over the soil, add compost and let it lay dormant for the winter. I prowl amongst the zucchini plants for remnants of squash bugs. Thankfully, I say good riddance to them all.

A cricket song reminds us of a clock ticking, of our lives someday dwindling to a close. Now I look forward to the blaze of colors in our maple trees. Autumn leaves proclaim the glory of God, just like the crickets.

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