An evening out back, in the dark, to cover plants. Surrounded by whatever’s left of ragged plants that have given their all, and the smell of someone’s fireplace. We’re well into fall, and yet the morning glories have just started producing buds. I respect their determination, their persistence, and feel the obligation to do my part, which is to protect them from cold nights. I looked up from the task at hand, to the dark cover of tall trees, and listened, deliberately, to the quiet.
I listened for crickets, and heard none. None at all. No cricket-style ‘call and response’. Nothing. It could have been winter.
Yet, in the midst of this quiet, I hear the soft pitapat of dried leaves rustling above me. A familiar rustling. A sound tucked away from the past, not from golden leaves and autumn nights, but from ancient trees and winter days. Days at the end of a long, bitter winter, when February winds blow through lofty limbs and the scattering of leaves still hanging on huge weathered pin oaks.
I turned to step back inside, and caught the creak of a single cricket. One lone, strong-willed cricket with something left to say, calling out from somebody else’s yard, somewhere in the distance.
A single tenacious cricket, and October’s wind rustling the leaves. Fall’s whimsy.