Dawn Reader

Dawn Reader
from Open Door Coffee Co.; Hudson, OH; Oct. 26, 2016

Friday, June 24, 2016

Cicada Quiet

among the 1st arrivals,
several weeks ago
I just noticed today that it's quieter around here in Hudson, Ohio--no more deep droning sound in the air from sunrise to sunset. The cicadas are ending their brief return after their seventeen-year hiatus below ground. The silence is suprising, almost unnerving.

Oh, there are still signs of them around: some live ones are flying, walking around, looking, I must say, a little dazed. (I'm guessing the birds are beginning to wonder where their stunning bounty of food has gone.) This morning, Joyce used the hose to wash a number of carcasses from our front and side porches.

The cicadas have enjoyed our house and yard this year, affixing themselves to the screens, walking around on the porch (perching on my bicycle tires), dying in clumps on the sidewalk, on the steps, on the porch itself. They were so plentiful at one time that our son, Steve, brought his two sons (Logan, 11, and Carson, 7) up from nearby Green to see and hear them. The boys were simultaneously excited and a bit wary--at least at first. Learning that cicadas have no teeth emboldened the boys (as it once did me).

I imagine the critters will linger a bit more--it's not suddenly Exeunt left. Like the rest of us, they'll drop and die on their own schedule, thank you.

I'm glad I got to see them another time, despite having to watch my step on the sidewalks for a few weeks, despite having to brush them from my hair and shoulders and bike tires, despite hearing them roar in chorus while I was trying to take a nap. They are one of nature's wonders, reminders that if you think your own life is weird, well, consider the cicada.

If I am still kicking when they next return, I'll be eighty-eight years old. Unthinkable. But if I am alive to see and hear them, I hope I still appreciate the wonder of it all and not gnash my teeth (if I have any) and grumble like a Grumpy Old Man (which, by the way, I already am).

And speaking of unthinkable, our son will be sixty then, our grandsons in their twenties.

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