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To Dance on Air

Updated: Nov 6, 2023

They make me smile, these cicadas do.

Swinging on air in wide arcs

across the field of our backyard

to the woods.

Now dipping, now soaring ~ fluttering on leaded-glass-window wings

that haven’t quite mastered the art of flying.

Zooming from tree to tree and

drinking deeply of syrup sap.

Sweet summer nectar.

Wobbling in exited swoops and spirals

Like toddlers learning to walk in tippy-toe delight.

An unsteady dance of total abandonment to the aliveness of joy

for these, their only moments in the sun.

Then thwump! One knocks himself silly flying into a porch column

and lies stunned on the ground.

Those big eyes apparently have a different kind of sight

for there, another one crashes headlong into the wall.

"Ah well, life is short...enjoy the flight," they seem to hum.

Seventeen years. What have I done with that time since the parents of these clumsily charming creatures laid eggs so carefully in the trees, trusting Nature to care for them? What has my life been in those days – 6205 or so of them – while my new flying friends made their way down and lived as nymphs underground?

There are seasons to grow quietly in the sweet dark of Earth Mother.

But now, now is the time to adore every shining moment. For the cicadas. For me.

To drink my own nectar of summer.

And never regret a single sun ray, or rain drop, or bump.

To pick myself up.

And dance on the air.

And give thanks in

noisy, blissful cicada-song.

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Jun 09, 2021

Beautiful insights, Dorothy. The cicadas are fascinating and they do remind us to live in the present. Seventeen years ago we were working together at UT. Doing what we strongly believed in. As we do now, but in a different way.

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