Cicada summers

Last evening, while having dinner at a nearby friend’s house on their backyard deck, we took a moment to listen to the sounds that were surrounding us.  One of the guests asked if anyone could discern frogs in the mix.  We couldn’t recognize any frog sounds, but we did hear layers of cicadas and crickets.  I was reminded of last summer when I was in the Chicago northwest suburbs and the weather was crisp and cool for the summer (quite unlike our current hot and muggy nights).  In the evening while my husband and I went out for deep-dish Chicago pizza we couldn’t help notice that the summer sounds were different.  The cicadas had a sound unlike anything we are used to in New York.  The cicadas and crickets were creating an amazing cacophony, but with a pulsing beat that was a little less like a phaser on stun (a Star Trek sound) that our home cicadas emit and more like a throbbing ritualistic sound of tribal music.  Are the sounds different in every part of the country?  Does everyone feel the calm and sense of peace that I feel when I hear these summer sounds?  For me, and I imagine for many, the cicada sounds remind me of childhood evenings in the summer when I stayed out as late as possible with my friends, and I had no cares of going to school the next day, and I felt happy and light. Summer is my favorite season and cicada sounds provide the backdrop for my passion for summer.  Evening is the time to really immerse oneself in the sensation.  It is the combination of the cicadas being more vocal and active in the evening and the hearing sense being heightened as the darkness unfolds and the visual senses are less engaged.  Nothing is more peaceful than sitting outside in the evening, eyes closed, quietly letting the cicada summer sounds envelop me with pure happiness.

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