Two nights ago, Sam and I woke up to the sound of a cricket in the house. Before I woke up enough to understand what it was, Sam was already in the bathroom investigating. Once I got up and turned on the light, it stopped and I couldn’t locate it, so the cricket had to spend the night inside, behind a closed door because the tub and tile in the bathroom amplified its already too loud chirping. He woke me up at various times throughout the rest of the night, and I had to keep wrapping my head in a blanket to be able to sleep.
I looked again in the morning, but still couldn’t find it, so it spent another day inside. Eric said it probably would die, because something that small couldn’t survive for very long without anything to eat, and as far as I know, we don’t have anything in the bathroom that crickets like. But as soon as it started to get dark outside, a riot of noise started up again. This time, I snuck up on him, and before he saw me and stopped, I at least figured out he was somewhere on the shower curtain, which was bunched up at the end of the rod. I pulled it open, looked and looked, but still couldn’t find him.
Then something jumped or fell onto the pile of dirty laundry on the floor. I moved around some towels, and there he sat on one of Eric’s white t-shirts, practically glowing he was so green. He hopped around, so it took a few tries, but I was finally able to trap him under a water glass.
Crickets are a symbol of good luck, fortune. People even make elaborate cages for them because they think keeping them inside your house brings extra good luck. I took him outside, released him into the yard, and as I did, I made a wish (not sure if that’s allowed, if it works in this case, but it never hurts to ask) that Dexter not suffer much, that he have an easy death when the time comes.
I also dedicated the merit of the “cricket rescue.” This is a Buddhist idea, that you shouldn’t hoard the merit of your effort, but rather offer it for the good of all beings. Through good deeds and practice, your hope is to benefit all, not just yourself, to somehow lessen suffering in the world through your effort. I find myself recently dedicating the merit of just about everything. I am trying so hard, that it all feels worthy of dedication. Not just when I meditate or practice yoga, but when I feel afraid or panicked, when I cry, when I am too tired to keep going so I choose to rest–all of it a genuine effort to make things better, to ease suffering. May other beings benefit from my effort, from my struggle.
And this morning, even though he’d reverse sneezed a few times yesterday, Dexter had a great walk. I let him lead, make the decisions about which turn or trail to take, which meant going backwards around the ponds and way back around by the edges of the horse pastures near the Farm. We even went to the little dog park, where I haven’t been with him since the last time we were there and he had an episode of reverse sneezing that was bad enough he asked to leave. He even found a tennis ball there, and on the way back, we all saw two white tailed deer. Dexter is happiest when he’s walking (hiking, running, or playing), so to give him that, to share it with him, is indeed good fortune.