Spring and the Return of Bugs

Praise the Lord from the earth,
    you great sea creatures and all ocean depths,
lightning and hail, snow and clouds,
    stormy winds that do his bidding,
you mountains and all hills,
    fruit trees and all cedars,
wild animals and all cattle,
    small creatures and flying birds,
kings of the earth and all nations,
    you princes and all rulers on earth,
young men and women,
    old men and children.

  • Psalm 148:7-12

All flying insects that walk on all fours are to be regarded as unclean by you. There are, however, some flying insects that walk on all fours that you may eat: those that have jointed legs for hopping on the ground. Of these you may eat any kind of locust, katydid, cricket or grasshopper. But all other flying insects that have four legs you are to regard as unclean.

  • Leviticus 11:20-23

“There was once a cricket on the loose in my former church.
“When things were quiet and still, his wings sang at top volume. like at weddings. And funerals. And during long prayers. And very early on Sunday morning before the place started jumpin’ with cars and microphones and organ preludes.
“I looked all around for that critter. About the time I thought I’d found him, I was wrong. So, early one Sunday morning, l decided to let the cricket stay. After all, he’d had plenty of time to leave and chose not to. Who knows? I thought. Maybe there are times crickets need to be in people places just as there are times people need to be in cricket places.
“Like out of doors. Surrounded by the sights and sounds and smells of solitude. And rhythmic running streams. And skies so blue it hurts when you stare. And fragrant, wild blossoms that smell of violet. And awesome, jagged cliffs. And soaring hawks. And field mice playing hide ‘n’ seek. And funny little lightning bugs. And the shrill screams of whippoorwills on misty mornings. You know, cricket stuff . . . so familiar to them they hardly notice any more.”

  • Charles R. Swindoll, The Finishing Touch (Devotion for Week 30, Monday)

The first Scripture praises God for all Creation, bugs included.  The second Scripture may gross some people out, but now you know that there are kosher insects.  Yummy!

Bugs (insects) bother people.  In American slang, bugs bug people.

Rev. Swindoll had a cricket in his church.  It bugged him to have a bug playing his music during weddings and funerals and such.  That is, until he realized that ”maybe there are times crickets need to be in people places just as there are times people need to be in cricket places.”

His last paragraph seems to be a duplicate copy of my upbringing.  Much of my upbringing was on a farm (working farm or not working farm as the case may have changed).  My companions in the evening when it was bedtime were crickets outside playing their music.  That was the constant noise, the high-pitched hum.  Then the frogs would croak, at times so many and so often that the noise rivaled that of the crickets, a constant lower tone than the crickets.  Then the bobwhites and whippoorwills would sing their songs on top of that.  In the daytime, you would get the mockingbirds and other songbirds.

Before we get back to bugs, the photo above is of the restaurant at our hotel in Pattaya, Thailand.  Once each week, they would have dinner, all you could eat, in the garden, underneath the tree in the middle of the photo.  We were required to walk on the path. Everywhere else, the ground cover, not a grass at all, was a plant that was about 3-4 inches high, 10 cm or so.  There was a constant din of frogs croaking.  We had never seen the frogs.  Geckos by the dozen, but not frogs.  Then, a friend dropped his fork into the “grass” that wasn’t grass, tiny frogs started leaping to get away from the fork, but the problem was that underneath the vegetation, if a frog, the size of your thumbnail, jumped, there was no place to land unless it was onto another frog.  That then spooked the other frog, and the next and the next.  We stood there amazed at the sight of a wave of frogs travelling from the buffet line to the swimming pool and then a return wave back to us.  It was as if the fork had been dropped into the pool, creating ripples in the water.

When I moved into the city, a neighbor’s loud music would keep me awake all night.  There always seemed to be that one neighbor. I grew up with natural music and this foreign; man-made stuff made me nervous and uncomfortable.  And how can you go to work in the day when you have listened to music all night?  I had some neighbors in the dorm at college that skipped classes all morning.  I only had morning classes and afternoon labs or army drills.  My schedule was a nightmare every semester.  There were times for such music.  When you are supposed to be awake.  I already had insomnia and people-noise made it ten times worse.

That, in a way is part of Spring.  In the winter, the windows are closed.  In the Spring, the neighbors rejoice that it is warm enough to open the windows, but they share their inside noises when they do that.

I much prefer the crickets.  They eat other insects.  If you do not mind their noise, they keep your house free of other bugs that might bug you.

Thinking of bugs that bug you, my wife is scared of stink bugs, and we have a lot of them.  Part of our basement is unfinished, meaning bare dirt walls, which means bugs can come and go as they please more readily than most houses.  All houses seem to have those seams where insects come and go, but ours is worse.  We try to keep the house clean and the dry goods in the kitchen stored in sealed containers.  If there is no food source for them, they mostly stay away, but stink bugs?  Stink bugs flaunt their presence.  Oh, to have an annoying cricket that likes eating stink bugs.  That would be wonderful.

Another bug eater is the spider.  I do not wish to be bitten by any spider.  A brown recluse spider can do a lot of harm.  But have you ever seen the spooky movies where the hero or the girl’s boyfriend decides to go into the attic and the lighting is dark and the eerie music begins to play?  The music gets a little louder and the adventurer turns around and is suddenly covered in spiderwebs.  They do not bother us until we bother them, and they eat other bugs.  My latest spiderweb saga, similar to what was just described, was in the basement.  We have no attic storage, very little attic space at all.  Our drainpipes were clogged a couple of months ago, and the plumber had to bring in the heavy artillery pipe cleaning snake through the basement door, the industrial model.  The home use model was making no progress.  We never use that half of the basement except for storage.  There were several suitcases that I had to move for him to enter that way since we never enter the house that way ourselves, and since I have not worked a job requiring travel, meaning those suitcases, for nearly six years…  I started moving things and making a path through the storage.  Every time I turned around, it seemed the spiderweb attacked me.  I knew that I was the aggressor, but I did not see it until it was all over me.  Spiders are sneaky.  Then again, better lighting, and I might have noticed.  I wanted to take a shower, but the drainpipes were clogged.

But while this discussion has all been about being inside and the insects are inside with us, it is Spring.  The weather is warming.  Even with pollen allergies, a walk in the brisk morning air sounds very inviting.

Sometimes the insects feel the need to be in people places.

But sometimes we people feel the need to be in insect places.  You know, having fun doing cricket stuff…

Soli Deo Gloria.  Only to God be the Glory.

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