Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The Sounds of Summer

Posted to OGR on 0/22/2010

Sometime the pace of life is so fast you don’t get a chance to stop and smell the roses, or listen to the cicadas. Last night, while walking outside, I noticed their song for the first time this summer. Of course that set my memory working overtime and transported me back to the day when I spent a lot more time outside. I remember those warm summer evenings, watching the fireflies, smelling the yards and fields after a late afternoon shower and watching the lightning flick across the dark blue evening sky from cloud to cloud as the golden sun turned orange and sank below the western horizon. Looking up, I usually spotted bats overhead feasting on the insects and mosquitoes that flew in the gathering darkness. I remember throwing pinecones into the air and watching the bats change course and follow them for a few moments before realizing what they were. It was fun watching them turn and wheel in the sky and dart towards the ground. My siblings and I spent a lot of time with the other kids in the neighborhood tossing ‘cones and filling the dusk with shouts and laughter. Life was free and easy back then. Parents could allow their kids to be out in the neighborhood at dusk and never worry. Mom and Dad perfected a two tone whistle that meant it was time to come home, take our baths and get ready for bed. That was yet another sound of summer that drifts through my memory now.

Pinecones and bats gave way to girls and song as I got older. Usually we went to a dance or a movie after dinner. Most dates involved a walk in the evening air and the sounds of a summer night took on a different meaning. Now they were the accompaniment to young hearts beating to a common rhythm. A counterpoint, if you will to two kids holding hands and stealing a kiss in the cacophony of crickets, hoots, dogs barking and the plaintive sound of a train’s whistle. All the while, in the background, there was the sound of a radio playing yet another tune from the soundtrack of our lives. I suppose, if the music was the soundtrack, the sounds of a summer night were the special effects. Oh MY!

Copyright 2010 Rick Wrigley

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