It doesn’t matter that it’s hot outside, I still prefer sleeping with the windows open. My bedroom abuts a gently wooded quarter-acre or so of land backed by another half-acre of more densely packed woods. And though by day the trees are sentries of hush and calm, by night they are smothered in nocturnal noise. Insects of the jaunty, gentle, jubilant kind invade, the kind of bugs that star in all the white noise sleep machines that sell for lots of money.
So it seems odd to shun the big sounds of summer that we all seek through small machines in winter.
And besides, there is a sad intensity to this late summer’s nightly chorus of crickets and katydids that seems to match our mood, as if the insects themselves feel the desperation of a sweet, sultry summer slipping away.
Despite the gift of four distinct seasons that weave themselves in and out of each other’s days, it is the end of summer that cuts most sharply across the endless stretch of time. No other season’s end is mourned half so much.
Camp, vacation, a slower pace, the longer days, quicker commutes all come to an abrupt end and we tumble back into the frenzy of the world.
For the crickets, summer’s decline is even more devastating. And yet while they are here, they never stop singing. That is why I don’t want to shut them out. They remind us of a great, bittersweet truth.
Though every one of our days, and every one of our seasons, will also come to an end, while we are here, we can always keep singing.
(the picture is of my woods this rainy morning, the second of Elul 5770)