Saturday, July 7, 2012

summer's cicadas signaled school

They begin their metallic, syncopated buzzing in summer's mid-afternoon heat. Seeming to join in chorus, the buzzing strengthens and rises, then dissipates. The cicadas of summer.

Just one week into July, I'm already hearing them regularly. But they seem to belong to mid-August, of summer gone stale and autumn approaching. I also think of back-to-school shopping as a girl: new leather shoes, new skirts and blouses and socks. Fresh pencils and clean paper. A lunchbox. For a time, I was excited about the start of school.

But as that first day drew near and the dry, crunchy grass poked my bare feet, a dread rose in my chest. I really disliked school with its monotonous structure and missing freedom and creativity. We walked the halls in lines, silence a must. Lunch at the appointed time and never on a blanket in the sunshine. Math. Science. It simply bored me to tears.

I hope my grandchildren like their schooling and can marvel, unhindered, at the cicadas' chorus.

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