7.07.2011

The Hum Bug




Almost as alluring as free fun fonts are to a blogger, the contagious courtship call of the cicadas reminds me of the only other bug I rather enjoy catching.

   If I sit really still and get really quiet, I can still hear her humming. It sounds weird to say it, but I can almost see her, too. In her chair while she read, in her kitchen while she cooked, in the car as she drove, even on the couch while she napped. Grandma Natzke was always humming. I loved that. I loved going to her house when I was little and hearing her hum. I loved visiting her at the retirement center into my adulthood and listening to her hum. It's something that I dearly miss about her now that she's gone.
   What I've noticed over summer break is that my youngest boy also hums. A lot! I hear him humming at the table as he puts together his 1000-piece puzzles, in his room as he plays his games, in the car as we're traveling. It's so endearing. And it makes me wonder: Are people happy because they hum or do they hum because they're happy? I wasn't sure, so I did a search. I found a 2008 study which was part of the London Zoo's Get People Humming campaign that found 67% of those surveyed hum because they feel on top of the world. Not groundbreaking research, but interesting, I suppose.  Whom do you know that's been bitten by the Hum Bug?  Do they have a happy disposition?
   Other sites reported that we hum for comfort, out of boredom, or even out of fear. According to the Sing and Hum website, humming can even have a healing energy with physical and emotional benefits. What I know for sure is that listening to my son as he hums has a wonderfully cheerful effect on me.  It connects me back to my childhood days by sparking treasured memories of Grandma Natzke, a humble soul who must have known about the Hum Bug's contagious quality to calm, comfort and cheer.  

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