I cannot help but ponder our visitors, the cicadas, come from the depths of the earth to mate and die, all within a few weeks time. What’s the point? Chuck reminds me that it’s nature, archetypal, doing what it has always done, programmed in a way that we find hard to fathom. I get that, but I keep looking for some reason, some purpose. Are we humans supposed to learn something from them?
Are the cicadas beneficial in any way? Is there some symbiotic relationship between the cicadas and nature that we’re missing? Like the bees pollinating so that other life can survive? The only benefit I see is that the cicadas offer lots of food for the birds and other critters. Like mice, they come in the billions, and even though a couple of million might get picked off there are still plenty of them left to do their thing.
“What a boring life!” someone said the other day, referring to the cicadas seventeen years spent underground. I couldn’t help but compare them to us. We humans take about seventeen years to emerge from our childhoods, which are often lonely, trapped as we are by the dictates of our families and society. Perhaps our childhoods are not much different from the isolated cicadas living in their underground tunnels. Once we leave home, we often do what the cicadas do too, though at a slower pace; find mates, perhaps have children, live through our lives until we too die.
When I stand on our deck, the sound is deafening, a symphony to rival Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring, the cicadas triumphantly playing their instruments. I hear strings, percussion, and woodwinds. I hear chanting and rousing church choirs. I hear life stirring, knowing it has so little time. I hear that archetypal element that Chuck brought up, declaring itself with impeccable intent.
Last night I dreamed. A voice spoke to me. “The hardest part of life,” it said, “is getting here. Once here, flow. Learn to flow because this is your life. You can’t stop it, but you can choose how to live it.” When I woke up I saw that I had been granted the answer to my question: What are we supposed to learn from the cicadas?
In my dream, I saw all of our lives, all of our previous efforts to evolve gathering the strength and wisdom to make this life the one that finally carries us to fruition, to fulfillment of our soul’s journey. There is great intent and effort behind that one purpose: for us to evolve. Each time we are born we renew that intent, to make this the life that tackles and resolves our core issues. In my dream, I saw the soul’s struggle to emerge more fully with each birth, much like the cicada’s struggle to emerge from its casing. Those previous lives are the hard part. Our archetypal past is the hard part. Setting that intent to evolve and getting it to pierce through the veils of this life is the hard part.
Now that we are here, my dream seemed to be saying, there is little to do except live out that intent to evolve. Much like the cicadas, we often don’t know why we are here. We too are archetypal beings, until we decide to break the pattern of reincarnated lives. Unlike the cicadas we have the power to change our patterns of behavior.
The other part of my dream, suggests that in order to break through the boring life cycles we must flow with what life presents us with. In the dream, I was aware that fighting and protesting about our lives will get us nowhere. Only in acquiescing to the true facts of who we are and how we got here, and then making some real choices to change our circumstances will we evolve and live a more fulfilled and enlightened life. It’s our choice. If we are going to be victims, then we will continue to live out boring cicada-like lives, endlessly returning every lifecycle to go through the same cicada-like patterns of behavior.
We humans do have a bit more going for us. Perhaps, if we could grasp the bigger picture, we could change. Perhaps, if we could fathom the meaning of our interconnectedness, our link to all within the human family, across the globe, we could change. Perhaps we could embrace our innocence and our true abilities to love one another. Perhaps we could learn to be a kinder gentler race. Perhaps we could actually learn to love ourselves for who we are and what we’ve been through, enough to intend healing for ourselves, enough to allow our true purpose to unfold—our evolutionary purpose. Perhaps we could soften our controls and flow with life, allowing ourselves to join with that kinder and gentler race of humanity that we are really all part of. If we really woke up, then we might begin to take seriously what we’re actually doing to the world, to the earth, to our fellow human beings.
I wonder what the cicadas will find here when they return in seventeen years? What will be left? Will we have so poisoned the earth that they’ll die in their isolation chambers? If they emerge, will there still be trees for them to sing from, to lay their eggs in, to hatch in the ground beneath? Will we humans resolve all the problems we’ve created in the next seventeen years? Do we have seventeen years? I don’t think so. That’s what the cicadas are telling us; we don’t have time. Now matters.
We all need to act on our own behalf right now and make some personal decisions about how we want to live this life and how we want to impact our planet’s future and our fellow human beings. Whether we evolve beyond this world or whether we return for another lifecycle, one way or another what we decide to do now is going to matter. Like my dream said, we have the power to choose how we want to live, no matter what our circumstances. And that is how we are different from the cicadas!
Chirping away, but seriously,
In case you haven’t seen this: Here is a great time-lapse film about the cicadas by film maker Samuel Orr. It’s really quite an amazing little film. We posted this on our Riverwalker Facebook page and in this week’s channeled message, so some of you may have already seen it, but for those who haven’t, here is the link to this short film.