Song of the Cicadas

Sitting silently on a hot summer’s night, the song of the
Cicadas owned the air.

He sat in deep thought on yet another insomnia induced night. Was it 3 or 4 am? Did it matter?

Like the oppressive heat and humidity, it just was. All of life is cyclical he reasoned to himself.

Normal people were fast asleep; normal people detested the
eerie song of the Cicadas. It had been going on for weeks now. He listened to the complaints; people with insect phobias were horrified by their presence,and their song. He found it less annoying than most people, and less haunting than his own sleepless thoughts for that matter. He lit another cigarette and stared at the faint light from a distant street light as it danced across the pond below him.

The News made much ado about the cycle of the Cicada. Were it 13 or 17 years? Did it matter? The facts were they were back. He didn’t mind so much. Their song echoed loudly now, no competition from daily life and the hustle and bustle of humans. He noticed they had even drowned out the sound of the bullfrogs, who formerly owned his insomniac nights.

There must be millions, perhaps trillions of them he thought. People hated the exoskeleton’s they left behind. The encounters when they saw their eerie red eyes and clear veined wings. Hard to blame them really, it was after all the single greatest outbreak of insects known to science. He preferred to seek the signifigence of it all. They exist only to reproduce, their nymphs emerge from the ground, climb trees, mate with the males, who no surprise to him, were the ones pining for the females, and ironically the only ones who sang the song of the Cicada.

The females once they mated, scared trees to deposit their eggs, the nymphs then drop to the ground, where they burrow in to the soil and wait their 13 to 17 year cycle to emerge again. Fascinating really, he thought.
In Greek mythology, Tithonius was turned in to a Cicada after being granted immortality by Zeus. Sadly for Tithonius, it was not eternal youth, but the cyclical nature of the Cicadas life cycle he were to experience for all eternity.

His sleep deprived and delusional thoughts took him back in time trying to recall when he last heard their song. It was the summer of his Fathers passing. As his mind raced, he understood it clearly now. It was a different time, a different pond. He recalled sitting awake, on their deck late that night after his death, wrestling with no sleep and his mind racing then as well. The lights from his parents’ kitchen danced upon their pond.

His thoughts now counted the tragedies he had seen since the last year of the cicadas’ song. Seemingly now it was clear, one per year since that time. Life altering events, deaths of friends and loved ones, failures of all he once believed in.

He watched and waited for the first sign of sunrise, as he had done 13 years prior. As the sun rose on the horizon, he arose and stumbled to bed. He could now sleep, but more importantly, he remembered, in the Japanese culture the cycle of the Cicada signifies the rebirth. It was finally over.  A new, better cycle of life awaited him. He embraced the song of the Cicadas and slept.


~ by onthedarkside on June 10, 2011.

2 Responses to “Song of the Cicadas”

  1. Kev, great piece of work bro!

  2. RIght there with you……

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