Prose: Chirping Crickets – 26/09/20

Male crickets chirp, signalling their romantic calamity. They know what they are seeking, whom they are aiming to have come into their world. But crickets; crickets, crickets, don’t we downplay their communication, assigning a meaning of humorous silence following a moment intended to be poignant, profound, or carry some other feeling?

I used to love crickets as a child. I would hunt them for hours on end, following the sounds until hopefully, in the brush, I would pounce with jar in hand and happen upon one, to keep all of my own. I fancied having a cricket as a pet would be a grand affair. Sadly, I only ever succeeded at once catching one. They were often far too perceptive at hearing my lumbering human body’s approach and would suddenly hush with their song, thereby quashing my ability to reign victorious as a Cricket-Owning Queen.

It makes me wonder, who else decides to silence themselves in order to avoid any unwanted behaviour or conflict? Who backs down, seemingly cowardly initially, but inherently wise in the end? For the world, with its youth and ignorance, with its body of fiery enemies and desires and wants and needs, can be dangerous for any little crickets to exist in, this is truth from my mouth which begs to be heard, all well as vowels formed to be seen.

I used to want to capture bees as well. They were so beautiful and busy and perfect, that I wanted my own, even if for an hour, then I would return it to the safety of its pollen-filled world. Capturing a busy, occupied bee proved far easier than locating and capturing a garden cricket. Still, sadness then washed over me as I realised what I was doing, what had I done? I had captured something so wonderful which was meant to remain free in its own way. With a smile and a few comforting words, I gently released my unintentional prey, my beautiful companion if only for a few minutes of that day.

And I hear them calling me again, I hear the buzzing of their fervent collections, I hear the shrill calling of the dances I took with crickets who surely smiled in wonder at my persistence, and I smile to myself at my childhood curiosity, and at knowing that nothing that calm, serene Nature created should be altered, should be changed, should be taken away from the comfort of their own damn home – how would I like it if I were plucked from the comforts of my very own abode?

But crickets chirping in my memory tell me there’s no finer point to be made, nor a softer point to be emphasised, just to live life in harmony with the world, and we will get along perfectly fine.

© 2020 Lauren M. Hancock. All rights reserved.
Photo by Krzysztof Niewolny on Unsplash

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