Tuesday, August 9, 2011

The Sound of Summer

My first summer in the Midwest introduced me to many new things: humidity, fireflies, tornado warnings, and rolling thunderstorms.

But nothing was prominent and initially disconcerting as the cicadas. My first impression was that of just sheer noise. But now, three summers here in America's heartland, the cicada song has become more than just a pulsing screech.

The cicada song has become the sound of summer.

There may be fireflies. There may be sunlight until after 9 pm. But it is not fully summer until the first evening walk where I hear the cicadas. The cicadas only sing when it is truly hot, when it is truly summer.

Each evening I sit on my porch and hear the loud, rhythmic chorus from the treetops, I am reassured that it is still summer.

There will be an evening, not so far from now, that I will be sitting outside, and the evening will be quiet. At that still, quiet moment, I will realize that another summer is over.

I'm not ready for that.

So each evening, whether walking around the neighborhood with my boys or camping out over the weekend, I take comfort in the noise that summer is still here.


  1. That was really beautiful. You write well!

  2. I guess I've seen too many movies, because even though we don't have any cicadas up here, I know exactly the summer sound you're talking about! I like waking up in the early morning and hearing the birds in the trees around our house; it won't be long until I'll be waking up in the dark silence of winter. Okay, now I'm depressed . . .

  3. They are really loud here right now too. I sort of don't even hear it anymore. But the other day one got in the house and totally freaked me out. Until my dog ate it. Which also freaked me out!

  4. Good point. I will remember that when they are making their sounds tonight.


  5. Lovely post. Hope the cicadas sing for you a bit longer and that these last few weeks of summer are full of fun:)

    I can't believe my kids start school next week. It's hard to fathom we'll be back in our routine sooner than I really want to. Trying my best to squeeze out the last few drops of our summer fun :)

  6. I have finally gotten used to that sound...it seems oddly quiet when they stop

  7. That's one of the many things I don't get to enjoy in such an urban area. The only screeching sounds I hear at night are the car alarms of tipsy drivers trying to get back into their cars.

  8. Your choice of a quote says it swell. Cicada sing a very long lullaby to my girl!