The insect's amazing lifestyle has been a source of fascination since ancient times. Several cultures, such as the ancient Chinese, regarded these insects as powerful symbols of rebirth.
"How can they keep humming like that? I mean, don't they run out of breath?" I asked Carolinda, after savoring a long sip of tea, and sinking deeper into the wicker chair from exhaustion.
"Silly VeeVee." Carolinda replied (she called me VeeVee, I'm not sure why). "Cicadas don't sing like we do, they produce sound in their abdomen's with their tymbals - it's like they make a drum roll in their bellies. They purr in large groups, as a whole. Cicada's are very big into teamwork, and they sing in unison for the benefit of the group rather than exultation of the individual. That's a lesson...one we learned today. By working together in the garden we got twice as much accomplished. Teamwork reaps higher rewards."
I thought about this for awhile in silence. Then, "What's the cicada's reward for singing as they do?" I asked.
"Love." Carolinda said matter-of-factly.
"Huh?" I inquired, hoping for more detail.
"We're hearing male cicada's crooning to woo their females! It's better than Frank Sinatra! Ooooh Fraaaaankieeeee!" As she said this, Carolina made swooning motions as if gone limp from Sinatra's honey-dripped vocals.
Sometimes it takes a village to encourage love to come our way. I'm reminded of close-knit families in which matchmakers and kitchen-table meetings among matriarch's of the family gather together for long conversations about what young man would best pair with their lovely daughters. Indeed, the cicada is a symbol of love, matchmaking, and calling out to our proper mate. Moreover, cicada's remind us to seek advice from trusted allies (friends, family) when it comes to matters of love. In short, when our awareness is drawn to the sound of cicada's it's a good time to tune into our love-lives, and perhaps get some trusted advice from an outside resource about love and relationships.
"VeeVee, did you know cicada's can lay dormant for over a decade?" Carolinda asked, rustling me out of my reverie about love-bug-song.
"No, why is that?" I asked.
"They chose their own time to be born. That's powerful, don't you think?" She lifted her eyebrow at me as she said this, then tipped her rose tea to her lips for a sip.
Cicada's nestle themselves in the cool earth, almost as if in hibernation, feeding on the roots of trees until their internal body-clocks sound an alarm, resurrecting them from the earth. The symbolic implications of this were staggering to me. It spoke to me about things like: Timing, Inner Knowing, Patience, Resurrection, and also a symbiotic partnership with the Mother [Earth] as well as a special union with trees (an aspect that's always intriguing, as trees are phenomenal wisdom-keepers).
They choose their own time to be born. What a cool concept. Years later I did research into why cicada's lay dormant, sometimes only a year, other times up to 17 years. It has to do with predators. Although still a mystery to biologists, the cicada has a keen ability to sense the right time to emerge from their earthy cocoons in order to produce the most off-spring. They do this during a time in which their predators are low in numbers - insuring the chance of their brood's survival (reducing the likelihood of predators gobbling up their babies for lunch).
This phenomenon is symbolic of timing in my mind. To this day, when I hear cicada's in the summer, they make me contemplate my own timing, as well as the timing of the Universe. It also makes me pay attention to my internal body clock, and the rhythms of the Mother [Nature]. In respect to timing and the cicada, we can ask ourselves questions like: "Is this a good time to start? Or, perhaps I should wait to protect my assets from becoming devoured by poor conditions/circumstances? (just as the cicada does to protect their offspring from predators)."
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