This is my fifth summer in new York. I spent almost all the summers before that, save maybe three or four or so, in the Midwest. I grew up overseas but spent my summers in the Midwest and I spent my college years in the Midwest and I lived in Chicago until I met Drew and moved to new York to be with him. I like it here — I’d even say I love it most of the time — but the summers still let me down a bit, and that’s almost entirely due to one little thing: there aren’t cicadas here, or if there are, you can’t har them above the hum of the city, and if you can, it’s not the same sound as the cicadas I grew up with.
A few weeks ago I spent a couple days in Chicago visiting friends, and while I was there, the sound of the cicadas at dusk filled me with so much joy and happy nostalgia, I almost burst into tears each night when I heard them. It’s a sounds that, at once, brings me back to my childhood – licking melting popsicles in my grandparents’ back yard, or trading ghost stories with my Grandpa on the porch swing — and my college years when the singing cicadas signaled an evening unfolding. More recently, they marked the end of a day and were usually celebrated with a cold beer or a cocktail on a friend’s deck as we talked about our grand plans.
What are your summer staples? What are you missing from summers past?