Recently, while driving from Montgomery to Birmingham (Alabama), I noticed this brave little cricket clinging to my windshield wiper. He was hanging on for dear life, traveling ninety miles at….ummm….80 mph. I hadn’t noticed him when I left my house, where I assume he jumped on board. It wasn’t until I was about thirty minutes into the trip that I noticed him tucked into a little crevice, his body protected from the 80 mph wind while his antennae flapped wildly.
The further down the road I got, the more concerned I became for this poor little insect. I mean, I’ve seen bugs hitching rides before on my windshield wipers and, sadly, at the rate of speed I drive, they never make it very far before the wind shear rips them off and sends them flying. But this little guy was strong. He stuck. He endured. He persevered. He was like the Forrest Gump of bugs. He made it to Prattville. “Well, I’ve come this far; might as well go a little farther.” He made it to Clanton. “Well, I’ve come this far; might as well go a little farther.” He made it to Jemison. “Well, I’ve come this far; might as well go a little farther.” He was in it for the long haul.
My concern grew when my tag-along and I passed the Alabaster exit and hit true-blue 5:00 Friday Birmingham traffic. That is always a lovely sight (sarcasm) but even more so now that I had little Forrest attached to my car. When traffic slowed to a snail’s pace, the little guy emerged from the crevice and decided to stretch his legs. Literally. I saw him stretch his little hind legs. Hey, he was holding on with all his might, so I’m sure they needed some relief. The problem was, I was still about ten or fifteen miles from my destination; so when traffic started moving again, the little cricket perched on top of the wiper was in grave danger of being flung off by the impending wind. I accelerated cautiously, believing any moment he would disappear. Traffic began flowing at its usual pace, yet I found myself going the speed limit or even a little under. This is highly unusual for me. Nevertheless, he hung on bravely, his antennae continuing to flap wildly in the wind; and I found myself watching him more than the traffic. That’s never a good idea. Yet we prevailed unharmed.
By the time I had reached my destination, Mr. Cricket was just barely hanging on. I was surprised, when stopped at each red light, that he did not take the opportunity to jump off. I kept expecting it. Instead, he hung on until the journey came to an end and I parked safely near a patch of grass, hoping he would hop into the bushes rather than into the parking lot. I had no doubt he needed a nap.
I shall never know the fate of this little miracle insect, but I can only hope that he is enjoying his new life at The Summit in Birmingham, Alabama. It is a rather beautiful shopping area. But even more so, this little guy reminded me of a very valuable lesson: if you have a spirit of endurance–that never let go, never give up attitude–there’s nothing you can’t do. All it takes is a little courage, enough strength to weather the storms…or winds…that come, someone to watch over you and encourage you (no I did not talk to the cricket, and he wouldn’t have understood me anyway, but you know what I mean), and with enough perseverance you can reach the peak of the mountain (which is ironically called the summit).
It’s the little things in life that can teach us or remind us of life’s greatest lessons, and I smile everytime I think of that little cricket. And every now and then I laugh when I consider that he’s looking around up there thinking, “Man, I only meant to go to Publix!” Haha, such is the writer within me.
by Janet Robinson © 2013