I love the sound of crickets and cicadas. I sometimes sit outside and just listen, in the morning and the heat of day to hear the cicadas or in the evening to hear the crickets. For some reason, it’s reassuring and comforting. The sound begins with the warmth of summer and ends when it gets cold, so it’s a message that summer is here. And crickets become silent when anyone or anything big gets near, so their voice can be one of safety.
When I was working as a teacher, and the end of vacation grew near, I especially took note of the sound. If I had any regrets about not spending enough time outdoors or having enough fun or not doing enough to help others or to find moments of calm in my own heart— the crickets reminded me of what had been there for me all along. As my schedule sped up to the fall, and vacation time transformed into work time, the crickets reminded me that the essence of life was individual moments. It reminded me to take a few moments to just listen and focus on what was here right now.
Listening to the crickets can be a mindfulness practice. Instead of focusing on the breath, you can let your mind settle on the crickets. When you do so, their voice grows clearer and purer. You hear a concert of millions of tiny wings rubbing together to produce a sound that might calm and help clear your mind. Or if it’s morning, you could focus on the cicadas.
So, simply sit outdoors on the grass or in a chair⎼ or indoors, near an open window. Let your hands rest on your lap, your eyes be partly or fully closed, or open and resting on something comforting⎼ and sit with the sound. Let your mind be simply an ear to the world. Just breathe in and enjoy a concert of crickets or cicadas as you inhale⎼ and settle into the moment as you exhale….
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