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.