What Remains of Summer

If you sit outside and listen to the cicadas scream soon you’ll want to join them. It’s summer, the tail end. The hotter it gets, the louder they screech. Such sweet relief. I envy them.

It’s been too long since I’ve spent an evening outside. I try, but the heat, the bugs, the summer squalls always force me to rethink my decision. When you’ve been inside for so long, though, it starts to feel like the house is pushing you out. It’s as tired of you as you are of it.

The stress of it all, like steam building inside a kettle, waiting to escape. Does it run out or was it forced?

I blew up, out, or I was pushed. One can’t tell. No rain in sight. I’ll just let the bugs feast on me. I’ll drown in the thick wet air. Please, I just need to be outside.

Cicadas sing whether you hear them or not. They are the ones to tell you summer is still here. The days have been ticking by to the tune of months, five since we’ve been inside.

The cicadas are mad like me. I feel heard. The internal screams that shake me daily have found their voice and it’s coming from the trees.

It’s been a while since I’ve sat outside and let myself feel something. Close my eyes and let it all sink in and flow out with a breath that is finally not shallow. My brain unfolds, jaw releases. I sit and watch the dog chase dragonflies.

I’m tired in a way I’ve never been before, a thousand hours of sleep could not satisfy. I’m angry and I should be. Life isn’t fair. It’s vile and unforgiving. It breaks your heart and doesn’t seem to care.

But the cicadas are giving me the voice I never knew I had. Growing louder and louder. Deep, slow breath. Start again.

The sun is going down. The quiet croak of frogs begins. Tiny dots of life from the last few fireflies summer seems to have saved for me.

I’ve waited so long for this to be over. Clenched, bracing myself for doom. Waiting for fear to tell me where to go.

It’s been too long since I’ve sunk in my chair and watched the bats circle overhead, waiting for the forgiveness of a faint breeze. The peace, I miss it. What did I do to make it let go? The cicadas have it now. They’ve screamed my screams. Perhaps they can do the same for my sleep.

My brow is dotted with sweat. Mosquitos gnaw on all the bits left exposed, but still I can’t bring myself to go back inside. I’ve finally caught my breath.

Lightning flickers in the distance. In no time the clouds will rumble. It’s time to go inside before the sky opens wide. But first, let me steal a kiss from what remains of summer and thank the cicadas for their screams.

*Featured image courtesy of Pixabay