Clergy Clatter

Well, we seem to have somehow avoided the 17-year invasion of Brood X cicadas that some of our neighboring regions experienced. Actually, I was sort of looking forward to it. I can remember as a kid being terrified of the things. I hated the sound that they made up in the trees. Something that big must bite, sting, or eat little bugs. And they were so ugly. Now, I find them sort of fascinating, with their strange life cycle and big red eyes.
Years ago I discovered that if you have cats, and the cats go outside, you are going to find cicadas in the house, usually pretty mangled. Cats have a fascination with them. They are sort of the size of a mole, or vole, or mouse, or whatever cats like to torment. And they do make a weird buzzing sound. My cats are really attracted to them. Unfortunately, they are not above bringing them to me in bed as a midnight gift. Noooo! And this year there were news segments of people eating the things, fried, in tacos, in salads, or whatever. People – you have lost your minds?
But I have to admit that I find something kind of spiritual about them. As new born nymphs they crawl down a tree, borrow into the dark, moist ground, and spend 17 years as grubs. It can’t be very exciting down there. Digging in my yard I’ve occasionally run into large grubs that are possible cicadas. They don’t seem to move around or do anything. I guess they just lay there in the dark and eat dirt for 17 years. That’s not a very exciting life. But then at 17 years, everything changes. Some natural urge sends them crawling up to the surface where they climb a tree or structure, shed their shells, grow wings, fly around a little, mate, and die. That sure beats 17 years underground.
One of the segments I watched on TV showed a cicada working its way up through leaves and soil, still in its grub form, with its huge red eyes, just breaking the surface and seeing daylight for the first time in 17 years. One can’t help but wonder what the cicada was thinking (if they think); Wow! Look at this. A whole world I didn’t know existed. And it’s light. And there’s air blowing. And there’s color. And of course, we can’t forget, there are potential mates. This is much better than being down there in the ground.
Sometimes I think our lives and our faith are sort of like that cicada breaking ground after 17 years in the dark. Something happens, and we break through into a new light, a new understanding, a whole new experience on our life journey. It can be a new relationship, a healing, a birth, or whatever. But the world is a different place of light, and air, and beauty, and excitement. What a wonderful experience living is.

Richard +

July 1, 2021


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