Night Song

By Wendy Fontaine

August 7, 2017

Night Song

At the end of a raw, rainy day, I sit cross-legged in meditation on my bedroom floor, breathing in, breathing out, letting worry and weight dissolve into diminishing light. My corner of the world is finally quiet - no cars, trains or helicopters; no neighbors clanging soup pots or shouting into cell phones. My daughter, too, is asleep in her bed, limbs spread like compass points. In this stillness, I go inward, listening for the small voice that exists after everything else has been stripped away. 

As my mind settles, as exhalations tickle my nostrils and the doings of the day start to drift, a cricket, in his own corner of the world, begins a night song. The shrill vibration is, at first, distracting. It pulls me from placidity. Irritated, I adjust my breath and shift my seat, grasping for that elusive space between wakefulness and rest. 

Then his chirp becomes hypnotic, a spiral of sound intended not as musical accompaniment to my meditation but as a mating ritual, to impress some other cricket in some other corner. Love me, love me, he calls. 

Instead of pushing away the noise, I tune in - how could I not? - and let the bug's cadence lull me back toward stillness, until eventually there is no difference between his chirp and my breath. We share this wavelength, he and I: two beings, one big and one small, one that has come to be heard and another that has come to listen. 

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