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Krista Nelson's Blog

Sound Beast: Roar the Morning Cicadas

Photo credit: Krista Nelson

My morning wake-up earful is often flooded with birdsong, lawnmowers, and the unintelligible gibberish of neighbor’s babies who are still a long way from learning what conversational tone is and have so much to say about all they are absorbing. These dear audibles pale however to the morning cacophony of the invisible sound beast; the collective cry of cicadas. This time of year, late in August, they remind me of summer’s evanescence. Nostalgic, I think upon all of summer’s fantastic qualities and all of them live together in the fleeting cicada reverberation. The heat and the sun and the long days and the refreshing cool waters and icy refreshments, the cooking, eating, and sleeping outside, and all the cherished breezes caught with open windows are all sweeter now that Autumn has readied her sorrel horse drawn carriage, heavy laden with bundles of sweaters. She accelerates their trot. The target, my front door. Scholastic achievements will hang for a time like chimney smoke in the clouds of life long experiences, thick dinner stews will weigh down and quiet our fears of winter cold, and orange colored leaves once green will mimic the brilliant mango sunsets.  Crunching leaves underfoot. Yellow, fuchsia, burgundies, and browns offer extraordinary eyeball entertainment. The sweet and savory, bass clef, nutty fragrances that make life worth living will soon be upon me, but first I die in happiness, an end-of-summer death wrapped in the shroud of the sound beast – the roar of the cicadas. I cannot see them, but I can hear them.

Cool enough weather to have the fans and the air conditioners silenced at last, the sound beast, the roar of the insects calls you into the woods of your imagination. Go deep and make a blinding stink. Go big and dance in that all-percussion band of rattle, shake, and shimmer. Knock knock jokes of invisible noise makers. The cicada percussion orchestra begs you to hand in your resignation. Go back to the pool while the sun dances on the water and stay until the shadows whisper hints of Halloween. This is the dip you’ll linger over and have no regrets for leaving. Kiss the girl today and kiss the baby too. This could be the summer moment that makes the diary entry in the diary that makes the year and gets labeled a rite of passage.

Unpack that luggage and hang a foolish shingle. Unwrap your head-scarf coverings; your apologies and excuses. Do the main thing now. Speak up. Show up. Feel the last of the heat waves warm through to your veins where your blood runs smooth and steady. Then walk on. Enjoy your path. Do it well. Just get it done now!



3 comments on “Sound Beast: Roar the Morning Cicadas

  1. Joan Flaherty
    August 28, 2014

    Dear Krista,
    What a miracle! I have no idea “where I got you”, but this came today and it’s the most wonderous thing I’ve enjoyed in a long time! THANK YOU!!

    Yes! I get very thrilled each year to hear the late summer serenade!One thing–you CAN see cicadas.They only live for a day or two(carpe diem), and throughout the season you can find them big, spooky-looking, dead.Ugly critters, like frogs, green and black.BUT the most BEAUTIFUL , angelic wings, as if made of hazy leaded glass.
    So: they come, they make that AWESOME singing for a bit, then :gone!Leave us to wander in the sudden stillness.

    Thank you again for this beautiful piece, WITH the perfect photo.
    Going to make your blog a KEEPER!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: Sound Beast: Roar the Morning Cicadas | Ristakaykrista's Blog

  3. KristaNelson
    August 29, 2014

    Hi Joan, I am so glad to meet you! Your kind words were the first I read today and truly warmed my heart. Now that you mention it, I think I did see one yesterday while out walking with my dog, Luna. She had something in her mouth but quickly dropped it. There laid the cicada with the wings you described. I love what you said, “Leave us to wander in the sudden stillness.” Yes!


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