Chalet L’Abri, September 2006
This September begins with my thoughts focused on Our Lord’s promise
to Noah after the flood: “While
the earth remaineth, seedime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease.” [Genesis 8:22] It is also the focus of our International
Sunday School lesson for the first Sunday in September. As summer begins to fade
into fall with blessed cooler days, comes now an appreciation for the rhythm of the seasons,
seedtime and harvest. So I raise a Deo Gratis for the dependability of
the tilt and rotation of our big blue marble --
this essentially when so much else of human origin seems to be changing my world so rapidly. Gratitude, also, that Providence has ordained at this time in my life I should now live in the Shenandoah
Valley where the four distinct seasons bring His refreshing gifts of changing weather as the calendar turns.
ushers in the night sounds of crickets hereabout. The sound of crickets have
always registered a mournful dirge for me, knowing that their clicking is a kind of death rattle. Studies have shown that few survive the winter. From the Old
Farmers Almanac comes this bit of practical knowledge:
are known as the “poor man’s thermometer. You can determine the exact temperature by counting the number of chirps
a cricket makes during a 15-second interval, then add 37 to the number to get the correct temperature in degrees Fahrenheit.
If he chirps 40 times in 15 seconds, the temperature is precisely 77 degrees where the cricket is sitting. And, it never varies.”
Crickets were kept as
pets in ancient China and Japan for their beautiful melodies. Crickets were prized as singing insects. Careful attention to night sounds on a late September evening might find you listening to a cricket concert. They “sing” with their wings! A male cricket has a heavy vein with a row of teeth
on the underside at the front of each wing. The top of one wing is used as a scraper against the underside of the other wing,
like a fingernail drawn along the teeth of a comb. This performance occurs with both wings elevated so that the wing membranes
can act as sounding boards. The pitch of the chirps is slightly higher than the highest octave on a piano. Air temperature
influences chirping rates; the warmer the night, the faster they chirp. There are special songs for courtship, fighting, and
sounding an alarm. Some crickets were kept in elegantly beautiful gold cages that only the rich could afford and were
put in boxes in the bedchamber so the owner could hear a nighttime serenade. For people who couldn't afford golden cages,
wooden ones were made from trees and bamboo. Ergo, we all have been indoctrinated with cricket minutia and trivia!
“All progress in the spiritual life is marked by our movement toward…the conviction
that only one thing is necessary: God Himself.
All progress in the spiritual life is progress toward knowing God and loving Him….That perspective changes the
way we look at everything. Suffering and adversity become the means by which
we’re made hungry and thirsty for God. Disappointments become the tools
that wean us away from earthly occupations and move us toward a preoccupation with God alone.
Even sin, when repented of, becomes a mechanism to push us closer to Him so that we can experience His love and forgiveness…..But
it all begins with God. He seeks us so that we may seek Him alone.”
David Roper in Our Daily Bread.