Cicada Year Reminder: More Than Meets The Eye

Recently, I was sitting on the balcony in the evening to have some headspace after a doozey of a day. I heard a buzzing sound approaching, and looked up in time to see a cicada buzzing toward me. I was surprised but also, oddly, assured. After approaching me, it circled past me and went on its way.

I’ll get into why this little encounter matters shortly. But first! Let me just say that cicadas are fascinating creatures.

Cicadas are truly fascinating

They really are! Especially those known as “periodical” cicadas. 

According to Smithsonian Magazine (a publication by the Smithsonian),

“The 13- or 17-year lifespan of periodical cicadas is one of the longest of any insect, but only a tiny fraction of that time is spent above ground. The rest of a periodical cicada’s life is spent underground as a nymph feeding on liquid sucked from plant roots. Over their many years beneath the soil, the nymphs shed their exoskeletons, a process known as molting, five times.”

Alex Smith, Smithsonianmag.com. Reference: https://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/14-fun-facts-about-cicadas-180977361/

That moment got me thinking

I will say it’s also likely this cicada was an annual cicada, given its shape was much wider than the periodical cicadas, but nonetheless, its presence got me thinking about these fascinating creatures. 

It’s a common misconception that the cicadas aren’t active during the years they’re not out and about, making that unmistakable sound that is synonymous with summer. People tend to think, “out of sight, out of mind”

In reality, cicadas are alive and active when they’re below the surface of the ground, too.

They’re just waiting until the time is right to surface.

It occurred to me this is a useful reminder

This is an important reminder that just because we can’t see things shifting, just because it’s not obvious that our efforts, intentions and choices are making a difference doesn’t mean they’re not. 

When we put consistent energy and will into something – anything – it does indeed make a difference. Sometimes it just takes time for us to see the evidence or results of the shifts. 

Perhaps, with this in mind, I can recognize and hold gratitude for this cicada that offered a message of hope and affirmation to me.

And just maybe, if we expand our perspective and allow our minds to grow, we will know how and where to look to find earlier indications that our efforts are making a difference. 

You can read a post I wrote on growth mindset and gently pushing at the edges over here. And if you love empowering content, I’ve got lots of that over here.

Blessings and empowerment to you.

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