A Cricket on Yellowstone Street and Morrison Hall

While meditating this morning, I was greeted by the early morning chirping of a field cricket. He was hidden somewhere between the couch and downstairs sliding window, or maybe crouched just outside the window, or maybe even clinging to the back of the couch or curtain panel… it’s so hard to decipher where they are exactly located. Until they hop out at you.

But this morning, I stopped to listen to his quiet chirp-chirp-chirping. For me, crickets announce the coming of fall. The weezer-weezer of Cicadas soon to be replaced by the quick, violin-esque audio of autumn. And while many would argue crickets do not sound like violins, I’m sure my personal reference comes from the infamous Chester cricket from Seldon’s book, The Cricket in Times Square. I always imagined Chester wielding his bony wings much like Vivaldi.

Or maybe this romantic notion comes with desperate thoughts of autumn. Cooler days. Cooler evenings. The sounds of school buses instead of ice cream trucks. Fall.

But I am realistic. I also know that along with school buses, cooler evenings, and cardigans come garage floors littered with dead crickets-the unlucky ones who couldn’t hop away quick enough from the labrador paws of Eleanor Rigby, or the car tires. I also know they will be lurking in the laundry room, just waiting for me to move a basket or pick up an article of clothing so they can hop a ride on the leg of my jeans or, heaven forbid, my bare foot.

Yet, a serenade of  chirping at sunset always calms my spirits. I try not to get too excited, after all it is still 105 degrees outside, and I know late summer is when these insects sing to attract a mate. But I can’t help but feel they know more than we about the changing of seasons. And the one-legged cricket that crossed my path in front of Morrison Hall verified this.

There he was. Dark-brown and sort of side-winding his way down the path. I stopped to allow him to cross into the cool grass. They say a one-legged cricket means good luck. I’m not sure who says this, but I know the different colors and the different songs also mean differing types of luck in other cultures. Those lucky crickets. And since I couldn’t verify just what kind of luck a one-legged cricket brings, I’m sticking with “the luck of early autumn.”

And if the one-legged cricket crosses your path while on the campus of a university, I’m pretty sure that means snow is just around the corner. chirp. chirp.

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