The high-pitched song of the cicada is the tune of time travel for me.
It takes me back to my grandma's house, where I spent many summers of my youth. Playing with my cousins and neighbors all day, the majority of it outside.
A time with no air conditioning and I would sit in front of the window fan thinking "I'm bored" until my grandma would kick me outside saying, "well, find something to do." Then I would spend hours climbing trees, making up games, running around.
A time when all I did was read. The amount of books I read and the speed with which I would read them was remarkable. It's amazing the things you could accomplish before the internet and all its distractions came along. "The Babysitters Club" and "Sweet Valley Twins" series were favorites--but I did love myself a good Christopher Pike book and "Sweet Valley High" if I was feeling rebellious.
A time when the cassette tape ruled all and my walkman was my best friend. New Kids on the Block was basically all I listened to for a couple of years, but I had some favorite ladies I would turn to, as well. From Debbie Gibson or Tiffany to Mariah Carey with some Whitney Houston and Paula Abdul mixed in for fun. Then there was Chicago's Greatest Hits and Color Me Badd and Boyz II Men and... Oh, pop. We were super tight back then.
A time when if I wasn't at my grandparents' house in the city, then I was at their cabin. Mornings spent playing and swimming, days spent eating and swimming, and evenings spent by the campfire (and sometimes swimming).
The summer of 1988, the summer immediately following the death of my father, was, oddly, the best summer of my life. I spent a big chunk of time that summer at the cabin, surrounded by cousins and aunts and uncles and my grandparents. The cabin returned my soul to the living world. It gave me life.
There was pain in my childhood, but there was a lot of joy.
The pain is often easier to remember as it finds its way to the surface quicker.
The pain is always waiting for its moment to consume and take over.
But not today, pain. I had a wonderful childhood.
And I'm thankful for the buzzing of the cicada to remind me of it.