Monday, July 9

Tis the Season, Part Deux

Besides the sights of summer abounding about the place, the sounds have also made their appearance during the last week. Of course the choruses of frogs chirping in the tall grasses and rice fields have been accompanying us for the last month or two, but the past week the cicadas came out and as of today another insect that reminds me of summer scenes in Japanese anime.

I had noticed it one afternoon, and the next day in class, just as we were getting started in a room with limited air movement, a cicada began its song right outside the building, eliciting groans from a handful of students. "Natsu da," one complained. It's summer.

To me, summer has always been my favorite season. It's a season of freedom, not only from school, but from restrictive clothing, from having to defrost and/or de-snow your car, from only being able to spend limited amounts of uncomfortable time outside (unless you're into winter sports, which I'm not). Summer means being able to enjoy nature, being able to sit on the front porch (or back) for hours just watching the street. It means swimming, barbecues, socializing with neighbors, sunshine, long days, ice cream, watermelon, family vacations. It means sprinklers and block parties, reading books for hours without feeling guilty. And on and on.

But that's the Buffalo summer, the few short months where you don't need a coat, where the city comes out of it's shell, and the streets are alive. Here in mid-eastern Japan, even in the mountains, it's a little different. It's frickin' hot. And humid. This season actually has been a lot milder than last year, with temperatures so far only peaking around 30 C (last year we were into the mid 30's in June). But the heat and humidity here can be oppressive, and therefore, I too have come to find spring to be the most pleasant season in this area of Japan.

That said, it is still fun to witness the evolution of summery sounds. I'm so lucky.


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