Saturday, June 23, 2012

Listen for the Crickets

This was written in chalk along the coastline...I loved it.

Earlier this week I was out for a run with a friend. It was warm and the pavement felt hot, reflecting back on my face as we crested the hill heading for home. As we passed by a mailbox, I heard a familiar sound, the sound my mom waits for every August–a faint chirp–the chirp of a cricket. As we made our way down the hill, my eyes felt heavy with tears, and my heart skipped a beat, falling out of rhythm. As I tried to take in a hot breath and hold back tears, I thought to myself “Could it be August already?”

I never met my grandmother, but ever since I was a little girl I remember my mom taking me out onto the back deck in the early evening, and she would say “Listen–do you hear that? Do you hear the chirping crickets? Do you know what that means?" And then we would go inside and call my grandfather. It was August. It was my grandmother’s birthday. Much later, the crickets would fill another empty silence in my life–the loss of my favorite uncle. It was late August in CT and my uncle’s house didn’t have air conditioning. The only way we managed to stay cool was over iced gin and tonics and hope that a thunderstorm would roll in. I remember trying to fall asleep, kicking at the covers, too hot, and sad to drift off, and hearing the crickets chirp in the background.

For many reasons, August is always the dark month of the year for me. And so you can imagine my surprise when I heard a cricket eight weeks early. I am not ready for August. However, this year I am lucky. This year I ran into the lucky cricket. The cricket who would caution that August is approaching. The cricket who would remind me to be brave and strong. The cricket who would give me advanced warning that as August arrives, to be kind to a (still) healing heart. Thank goodness for this cricket. And so I ran home. I ran home to call my grandfather, to tell him that I had heard a cricket–the lucky cricket–and that the August crickets weren’t far behind.

This cup is for Guy (because in the midst of all the celebrations, I can’t help but miss you and wish you were here) with all my heart

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