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79 degrees.
No wind chill.
Humidity 46%.
Pollen count 11.5.
I conclude it’s high time for a Winnequah lagoon walk.

But you hardly ever go for walks!

Ouch.
She’s right.
I haven’t set foot by the lagoon since eldest daughter’s wedding at the gazebo there.
Back in early June.
I marinate briefly in regret and self-chastisement.
Then head out.

No Fit Bit.
Those are against my religion.
No pedometer either.
I don’t care how many steps I take.

There is no birdsong.
Alas.
Unless you count the panicked quacks of the three ducks I startled.
Sorry ducks!

But…
There are cicadas.
Of course.
It’s August.
Although these cicadas aren’t as loud,
They remind me instantly of August evenings on my grandparents’ back porch in Dwight, IL.
30 years ago and more now.
I pause for a few minutes under the tree canopy and remember.

Moving on to the more public part of the park.
A teenage neighbor boy is sitting on a park bench and reading.
A dead pulp book.
Not a screen.
He doesn’t see me.
I don’t dare interrupt him and send a silent salute instead.

Speaking of books, I bear right to head to the library where two holds are waiting for me.
The gazebo catches my eye.
There is a wedding there.
I remember again.

Library books in hand I start walking home.
Cicadas much louder now.
Almost Dwight level loudness.

Back home.
I find a Ted Kooser poem:

What cicadas leave behind is a kind of crystallized memory;
The stubborn detail of, the shape around a life turned

Indeed.


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