While working in the garden on this final day of spring, as the lunar phase waxes toward a Full Strawberry Moon, I heard the song of the cicada. It is a strange sound to be sure for we do not experience it every year. Here is another link with more recorded sounds of the cicada. The cicada only awakens in 17 year cycles. So rare it is to hear it during the course of one’s life, I had to stop and wonder what it was and then, I remembered. I remembered the sound from my childhood. A rare and different tune indeed!
***After posting this article, I received a comment and picture from my student, Sabrina in China. She informs me that it is common to eat the pupa of the cicada by boiling them and seasoning with salt. She was also kind enough to share a photo of them after cooking. Thanks, Sabrina!***
Tomorrow, when the sun rises the summer solstice will have arrived. It will be the first day of summer! The “longest day of the year“. The majority of my crops have been planted. I have been eating lettuce, spinach and peas for a few weeks and the summer crops of tomatoes, beans and squash are well on their way to producing their bounty. In the coming weeks, I will begin to plant the third cycle of crops which will be harvested in autumn — Brussels sprouts, more broccoli and leeks. Potatoes and onions will continue to silently multiply and mature beneath the surface of the earth.
Though we are usually busy filling the longer daylight hours with work, it is a good time to stop and listen to the sounds of life all around us. We are granted a finite number of days as we pass through this mortal plane. How many first days of summer we will experience is unknown. In the end we come to realize that lifetimes pass in the blink of an eye. Cherish the seasons as they roll on. You may not have the opportunity again.
Our journey had advanced;
Our feet were almost come
To that odd fork in Being’s road,
Eternity by term.
Our pace took a sudden awe,
Our feet reluctant led.
Before were cities, but between,
The forest of the dead.
Retreat was out of hope,–
Behind, a sealed route,
Eternity’s white flag before,
And God at every gate.