Monday, September 5, 2011

The Crickets Sang in the Grasses

They sang the song of summer's ending, a sad, monotonous song. "Summer is over and gone," they sang. "Over and gone, over and gone. Summer is dying, dying."
...Everybody heard the song of the crickets.
 from Charlotte's Web by EB White
The kids and I read Charlotte's Web this summer. We finished it sometime in mid-August. I know I read this book in childhood, but I don't remember it very well. I am sure I missed the beauty of some of the prose. It is a book about friendship, but also about the passing of time. As an adult it is this aspect that struck me this time.

I was especially take by the chapter about the crickets. I love the sound of crickets. I always have. But I never realized that the sound marked the end of a season, and the beginning of another. At least I was never conscious of it...I may have been sub-conciously aware.

You see, I also love fall. I have always loved the fall. I do not recall mourning the end of summer. By August I was ready. Ready for fall weather, new shoes, pencil boxes and brand new binders filled with blank pages. Possibilities. New chances. I loved it.

A and D at the pumpkin patch last October.

This August, as we read Charlotte's Web and I learned about the cricket's song, I began to listen anxiously for their sound at night. I was amazed at the silence (I mean besides all the neighbor's kids who stay up till some un-Godly hour even when school has started!!!). I listened carefully, night after night. And then, on or about the first of September, I heard it.

"Summer is over and gone," they sang. "Over and gone, over and gone. Summer is dying, dying."

Though EB White talks of the sadness of summer ending, I don't get it. When I heard the crickets this year, my heart sang: Fall is coming! Fall is coming!

I still love fall. Only now, as an adult, I can add to my list apple pie, pumpkins, butternut squash, fall colors, cooler days, shorter days, and sweaters, jackets, and jeans.
A barrel of pumpkin puree!

It is ironic that as a homeschool mom, and given my relaxed homeschool personality--we don't really have a first day of school in the fall, we just sort of ease into more reading, writing and arithmetic than we did in summer--I still love to see the back-to-school supplies lining up on the shelves in Target. And I have to resist the temptation to look at backpacks and lunch boxes. My kids don't need them.

I did give in and get some binders (with pencil cases...be still my heart) so the kids could keep their favorite work for the year. And I may have purchased some crayons (though why would I do that with two gallon zip locks full of perfectly good broken crayons!!).

I even baked an apple pie last week. However, I have drawn the line at pumpkin bread. We will delay that pleasure until October....or maybe late September.

Actually, I still have some pumpkin puree in the freezer from last year...do I have enough time to make some today?

1 comment:

  1. OH...I have just been thinking about and missing "fall" from the Midwest. The smells, sounds, sites...apple orchards. No apple orchards down here. Cider donuts? No fresh cider donuts down here.

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