When I think summer, I think of cicadas. Big bugs that sit on trees and in the bushes and either wake me up in the morning or accompany my early evening. They sing their song and I cannot even say that I find it particularly beautiful. I would even say, that it might annoy me when they sing so loudly that you wonder how many of them are actually around you. A whole opera of cicadas. But they are part of my summer. Summer without them is unimaginable. And I listen to their song like I listen to an old CD. Heard too many times but clinging onto it. Missing it when it’s not there. And while I listen to my summer cicadas I think of my typical Japanese summer night. And while I think of it, the feeling of nostalgia keeps getting stronger. It’s getting louder, like the cicadas. This feeling of the perfect but totally ordinary summer night. A typical Japanese summer night I never experienced.

When I think of my typical night, I sit on my porch. A beautiful, old wooden porch from where you have a nice view into the garden. Of course it is a Japanese garden, but not a fancy garden. It is just my private garden and I don’t need it to look perfect. In fact, imperfection makes it perfect, at least for me. There are trees, small bushes, a stone lantern and a small pond with some little carps. I always loved carps, since I was a child. This is not true, but what matters is that I love them know. They remind me of my childhood and of the time when I didn’t know I would start loving them at some point.
Freshwater flows into the pond through a little bamboo pipe and that’s where the little carps gather. Except when I come to feed them. Then they get excited and open their big mouths as if they hadn’t been fed for ages.

I sit on my porch and just gaze into the garden. It’s dark outside except for the lit stone lantern and the fireflies that fly from bush to bush. A light night breeze softly rattles the wind chime that I attached to the ceiling. Fireflies have always been magical for me. I remember the first time I saw one in my home town in the countryside. I was a teen and walking along the dark streets when my gaze fell upon some tiny glow in the bushes. It was glowing and I couldn’t keep my eyes off of it. I gently catched it to have a quick look at it and then I released it into freedom again. I was never a big fan of bugs but this magical, little creature was different. To me, it looked like a star fell down from the sky into the bush. I still feel like this today, 15 years later.

And while I sit on my old porch and watch the fireflies do their dance and listen to the wind chime and the monotonous sound of water flowing into the porch I begin to feel at peace. The cicadas are still singing their song and all these different sounds together tell me I am home. The feeling of time has gone but at the same time I know this won’t last forever. The fireflies are only brief visitors and the cicadas are singing until they drop dead at the end of summer. Then summer has ended. And when the cicadas die, my typical Japanese summer nights come to an end as well. And I will stand up from my porch as the leaves are turning red and yellow and the air is getting colder. I will go into my house and watch my little perfectly imperfect garden from the inside. The carps will get calmer because they are getting for winter. And I will wait until the cicadas and fireflies return.

My typical Japanese summer night. I guess, it’s all in my head. But that’s ok.