Lyrics to Cicada’s Song
Dressed in rain gear to deflect burrs
I plunge into the woods that border my yard.
It’s an annual event
trying to remove the burrs from the ground
which is far easier than from the dog.
Burrs might well take over the world
so designed are they for multiplying.
Still, I do my best to quell the growth
hoping for a cool-ish day to suit up
and reduce the numbers
of what I now know is Virginia Stickseed
(I’ve always called it Dog’s Bane).
The cicada and I must have been destined to meet
given the extraordinary timing of our encounter.
She stepped from her previous bug body—
now a dried brown shell of legs and torso—
and onto my hand as I grasped the stem
as if we had choreographed the whole thing.
From there she moved steadfastly up my arm
while I stood enchanted,
never having witnessed the breath-taking beauty
of these newly transformed creatures:
wide pale bodies, translucent rainbow wings.
She knew what to do.
When to emerge
how to extricate her legs,
curl forward and pull herself free
by pushing off from her old skin.
Next…and I’m not making this up…
she inflates her wings with a blood-like fluid
and voila—the songmaster of summer has arrived.
It’s the act of using her old skin to push up and emerge
that echoes and resonates in my bones.
Perhaps there’s a whisper of recognition
in the ways all of us
–with not one exception–
must likewise push away from the old, the familiar,
and transform into something new and not yet known.
Unwelcome or otherwise, this is where we find ourselves
as we live and learn and grow.
Letting that which held and anchored us slip away
even as we feel the uncomfortable tug of uncertainty.
For me, the only time I feel truly at ease
in times like these
is when I am able to just be with and maybe even trust
this Wild unfolding.
As if I‘ve learned some of the words to Cicada’s song.
She sings of mystery and transformation.
Of timing and possibilities.
Of trusting that, likewise, my Wild self knows
what to do, how to be
and when to push away from my “old skin”
–and here’s the key–
before my wings have opened!!