Thursday, April 16, 2009

When The Higurashi Cry

I have a feeling that a lot of my posts will switch between reflections on the past year and current or upcoming events, but then, that's always been how I write.

I'm a big proponent of stream of consciousness.

There's a certain type of cicada over here that's known as higurashi.

During the summer season in Shimane (and probably most of Japan, except for Hokkaido and maybe parts of northern Honshu), as the sun is starting to move toward the horizon and the temperature starts to make some vague effort to cool off half a degree or so, there comes a slightly sad yet hauntingly beautiful sound from out of the bamboo trees. This is the higurashi welcoming the evening.

I remember one day in June of last year, I had just finished work and was walking back to my car to drive home. The school is up on a hill, and on the way to the parking area, there's an area where you can look down into a small valley. The lighting that day was perfect; the valley was just so GREEN, greener than anything I've ever seen back home. Everything was still, and the heat had started to back off a bit, and that's when I heard the higurashi echoing out of the trees.

I remember thinking how damn happy I was to be standing right there at that moment. How everything finally felt RIGHT with the world. And it was the higurashis cries that made me realize that I was BACK. Three years I hand't heard them, and now there they were again, and I just remember standing on that spot, looking down on that small valley, and thinking, "I'm home."

While cicadas can be a bit of a nuisance at times, there's something to be said for hearing a higurashi cry come through your window on a sultry summer evening.

There may not be a whole lot to look forward to when it comes to summer in Shimane, but I know the next time I hear the higurashi cry, there will be a big smile on my face.

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