Monday, September 2, 2013

CICADA SIZZLE – The Dying Gasps of Summer

These waning days of summer show their age: today warmth and light won't
last 16 hours; here and there leaves run out of green; and there's a new sound
in the air.

Cicada sizzle.

Like a two-inch civil defense siren, it winds slowly up, crescendoes, then
tapers slowly off, so sharp a sound as to leave its imprint in the ear—a kind of
mental echo.

The bittersweet sound evokes, for me, the end of carefree boyhood summers,
a sad turn from natural impulses and rhythms to disciplines not my own.

                   Can you pick up the beat
                   of such
cicadian rhythms?

And what a paradox: a sound so intense, so penetrating, it goes right through you. Yet it sneaks into city soundscapes so deftly that we barely notice, inhabiting the background like cricket strum or nighthawk's airy plea.

As I ride my bike along high, sunny river bluffs the shrill whines play leapfrog with me. At times, they flow together, one continuous sound as if from a single cicada flying along just above me.

I cross the bridge and return home on the other side—the shady side—where I notice there are fewer singers. Too cool here, I guess, for good vibrations.

Can you pick up the beat of such cicadian rhythms? Keep your ears open.

The most common cicada we have here in Minnesota is Tibicen canicularis
also known as the dogday cicada, harvestfly or annual cicada.


jean said...

I am sitting here listening to them sing right now, as I anticipate fall's arrival. They seem to create a perpetual ringing in my ears when I am inside. When I step outside, the sound is much louder, more intrusive. I find their cast off shells everywhere!

Robin Easton said...

THIS >>> "The bittersweet sound evokes, for me, the end of carefree boyhood summers,
a sad turn from natural impulses and rhythms to disciplines not my own." I find this SOOO deeply poignant, so sweetly heart tugging that it brings tears to my eyes. I completely resonate with your beautifully expressed sentiments and awareness. It is as if you write for me, of me. Thank you, my dear friend. Beautiful, beautiful writing...and awareness. Hugs, Robin

Jeffrey Willius said...

Robin - It means so much to me that you drop in here now & then! I've resonated with your writing too -- including your heartfelt, personal musings via Facebook. Few people understand as well as you do of what -- and from where -- I try to write. Be well, my friend!

Jeffrey Willius said...

Hey jean -- I know what you mean about the perpetual ringing. I've awakened at night in total darkness and silence and heard cicadas droning in some far reaches of my brain -- just its attempt, I guess, to fill the utter void.
Happy cicada sizzle!

Laurie Buchanan said...

Great minds think alike :)

Jeffrey Willius said...

Laurie - Great minds, indeed, though you've taken the observation a step further with the symbolism you take from it. Very nice!!
Also, I wanted to comment on your latest post about the fork in the road. Best of luck to you and Len -- hope you end up in a place that will nurture your best and appreciate the gifts you bring.

Amber Galusha said...

So happy I stumbled upon your blog. Just as the cicada has its own rhythm, your writing has a unique rhythm that is soothing and pleasant to follow. And your careful selection of words makes your writing authentic and enjoyable to read. Thank you. Oh, and by the way, I love your blog’s tagline, “reclaiming curiosity in a ho-hum world.” Thank the heavens someone is ... and sharing his experiences, too.

Jeffrey Willius said...

Hi Amber -- It's so nice having you stop in! Do you remember how you happened across One Man's Wonder?
At any rate, thanks so much for your kind words. Your blog is also lovely and I've signed up to get it in my RSS feed. Kindred spirits, it seems...

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