The east coast is buzzing with the sound of Brood II Periodic Cicadas. These extraordinary insects remain underground for 17 years, emerging just before their death, to mate and carry on the species.
My town has remained quiet these last few weeks, so I didn’t really get what all the hype was about. But at my mother’s house this weekend, I got the chance to see and hear the cicadas up close. Their collective hum is more than just background noise; it is impossible to tune out. And these big, red-eyed critters travel in numbers. There have been reported sightings in Connecticut of over 1 million cicadas per acre!
The last time the cicadas appeared, I was just 17 years old. I was nearing the end of high school and felt both excited and terrified about the future. I couldn’t predict the twists and turns that my life has taken in nearly 2 decades. But that’s the miraculous thing about the future. When you look forward, there is a blank page just waiting for you to write your story.
As a teen in 1996, I was too self-absorbed to notice or appreciate this natural phenomenon, but it’s caught my attention this time. The cicadas surfaced at a time when change is happening all around me.
My sister, La, moved back east from an 8 year stint in Honolulu. She and her boyfriend dream big and take chances. Adventures are part of their everyday life. I’m in awe of their optimism and fearlessness. Bean gets such a kick out of La and Aron and I’m thrilled that she will grow up knowing them well. I’m looking forward to seeing where their next adventure takes them.
Diana is the other middle sister. She left Connecticut at exactly the same time La was coming back home. Di is a military spouse and will move around the country with her husband every few years. We were lucky to have them close to home these last few years. We saw them get married and they welcomed my daughter into the world. I’m excited for Di and Rob as they learn to call Boston their new home.
The baby of the family, Chick, graduated this week from a Medical Assistant Certificate Program. We celebrated her accomplishment and the official start of summer with a backyard barbecue, iced cold beers and wonderful friends and family. Chick loved the “Smart Cookie” buffet I put together.
Chick was sure she didn’t want to attend college, but didn’t know what path to take as an alternative. After a few years of work and learning firsthand about exchanging time for money, she’s seen the value of education, experience, mentors and networking. She took this 10 month course more seriously than the entire 4 years I spent in college. Our family has been watching on the sidelines, cheering as she aced her exams and nailed the externship at a pediatric doctor’s office. She is gifted with a kind and compassionate heart. I know she will touch many lives as she embarks on her journey in the healthcare field. I’m certain that 17 years from now when the cicadas come up out of the ground, Chick will have gathered a long list of accomplishments to look back on.
As for me, I’m marking my calendar for another cicada invasion in 2030. Bean will be 17 just like I was and I hope I can encourage her to pause and appreciate the bugs and the big, bright future she has ahead of her.