Although it is September, we are having August-like weather and all the critters know it! The sound of cicadas and crickets is so loud I would describe it as a roar. I have always appreciated the sounds of nature (see The sensations of water) and their impact on me. They serve as both background and foreground at the same time to my life. As a backdrop, the sounds of nature nourish my soul and bring me back to myself when I am out of sorts—they lead me to my inner thoughts and voice like nothing else. As foreground, the buzz of nature is something that in and of itself demands my attention and creates my mood.
Cicadas and crickets are particularly demanding of my focus. I am intrigued (how do those bugs make those sounds?) and drawn in (can I distinguish between the cicadas and crickets?) and relaxed by the magical hum of cicadas punctuated by an occasional cricket. Yes, there is endless magic to cicadas and crickets—although their season does come to an end. They will eventually quiet later this fall but I am reassured by the knowledge that cicadas and crickets will be back next again next year!
Cicadas at the End of Summer
By Martin Walls
Whine as though a pine tree is bowing a broken violin,
As though a bandsaw cleaves a thousand thin sheets of
They chime like freight wheels on a Norfolk Southern
slowing into town.
But all you ever see is the silence.
Husks, glued to the underside of maple leaves.
With their nineteen fifties Bakelite lines they’d do
just as well hanging from the ceiling of a space
What cicadas leave behind is a kind of crystallized memory;
The stubborn detail of, the shape around a life turned
The color of forgotten things: a cold broth of tea & milk
in the bottom of a mug.
Or skin on an old tin of varnish you have to lift with
A fly paper that hung thirty years in Bird Cooper’s pantry