I can remember standing in the front yard of my aunt’s house, hearing the cicadas and wondering – what the heck is that noise?
I guess I always thought it was the powerlines – what did I know? I was just a kid.
Around the time that curiosity began – maybe it was even the same day – I noticed the shell of an insect perched on the trunk of a tree, it’s back split open. Similar to the way a Monarch chrysalis looks after it has made it’s full transformation; perhaps on it’s journey to Mexico.
Anyway, I asked my dad about it…he pulled it off the tree, pointed up as an indication to listen, and explained it was that sound I was hearing. Then he lurched it at me with some kind of “wohahhhhh” sound in an attempt to freak me out – success! God. I can hear him laughing now…but let’s be honest – it IS funny.
That was 20 years ago. 20 years, I never thought I’d say that.
I thought about all of this only recently when I heard the cicadas again this summer, and I couldn’t recall if I hadn’t heard that sound in the past two decades or if I just hadn’t been listening for it. Maybe living in Utah made me curious – wondering – they have cicadas here?…it’s so interesting the things you observe when you are forced to remain curious.
How a sound or a smell can take you back to a moment in time…you can see it all the same – you almost even feel the same way you did then.
But now it’s just a memory, and how interesting that you didn’t recognize then, how pleasant that moment actually was.
The way the smell of fresh chopped garlic always reminds me of my dad’s old girlfriend. Or the taste of clementines remind me of sitting in my dads truck on the way to Afton Alps – and I can always hear the song “This Time” by The Verve. Or how the feeling and smell of clean sheets remind me of summer days – after swimming and raft wars with the neighbors.
Those thoughts overwhelm me with emotion and I have no idea why, but I am almost on the verge of tears recalling them. Regardless that they are undeniably blissful.
Maybe I am emotional realizing that I should have paid better attention. You hear it so often – be in the moment, embrace the now; but far too often we forget. And maybe that’s the game – what do you think?