I went for a bike ride tonight after dinner. There is a bike path that begins just down the road from where I live, along a tidal salt marsh. I was just riding, enjoying the evening, alone in my thoughts. I was thinking about how much I loved riding my bike when I was a kid and how much I still feel like a kid when I'm on it now. I started thinking about my friends then, how we'd ride up and down the street going nowhere in particular.
I thought about how quiet it was there on the bike path, but then I started to listen and realized it wasn't really very quiet at all. I realized what I was hearing were the sounds of summer.
A squeaky swing, a seagull's call, the clicking noise when pedals move backwards, the hollow crack of a wiffle ball bat, and the cardinal in the tree above.
I started thinking about other summer sounds, the ones I couldn't
hear from my bike like waves crashing on the shore, kids squealing as they run from the waves before the cold water hits their toes, the cicadas that buzz on hot humid days, thunder rumbling in the distance bringing cooler air along with the rain, and fireworks bursting on the 4th.
Some summer sounds are not as pleasant, too loud music from a car, the sudden roar of a Harley and the mosquito that buzzes in your ear at night as you pull the sheets up over your head hoping to keep from getting bitten.
Then there are the crickets who save their summer songs 'til August, when the days are hot but the nights are cool. As much as I love the sound of those crickets I know what they are telling me. All too soon those summer sounds will fade and the sound I'll hear most often is the sound of the school bell.
I enjoyed my bike ride today, and I'm really glad to have a few more to take before the crickets start to chirp away the days.