Cicadas prepare for life for up to seventeen years. When they “escape” their shells, already as adults, they have 3-4 weeks to do what they are meant to. And they do the most out of their 4 weeks. Their “singing”, which is actually the lower parts of their abdomen vibrating, is performed in its full intensity and in an amazing rhythm. Considering that they are deaf, their synchronicity is mesmerizing.
Their story fascinated her. Their existence on the trees in her yard not so much, as it was impossible for her to sleep, to read, let alone to have any proper discussion. A discussion that she was putting off for months now and that she felt she had to take off her chest and finally find peace with.
“Breathe. Take the first step. Not the second. Not the third.”
she said to herself, when the doorbell rang. She remembered her friend’s advice, who always for some reason had the talent to say exactly what she had to hear, at the right time. That made her furious. Lovingly furious though. After all, he was still her closest to a brother.
She made a step forward and a tiny drop of sweat formed at her philtrum. She wiped it off with the back of her hand and she smiled.
“Funny it is called like that”,
The philtrum, Cupid’s Bow, a remembrance from our time in the womb, a point of inspiration for the poets in Ancient Greece, was now betraying her, making obvious of the fact that her heart was following another rhythm, not aligned with the cicadas’ slow song.
8 years ago all that would not matter. Now it was different, or … she was different. She had put the mask down a few times before but this time for good. We are the only species in the world that we can put a mask and hide from our true selves, did you know that? We try it on, we get used to it and then we confuse ourselves with who we really are, what we long for, what our soul aims to. And there is nothing cool about that.
She remembered this phrase from a book she read the other day: “why are you not happy? Because 99.9% of everything you think, and of everything you do, is for yourself…and there isn’t one.”
She felt sorry for all the time, the nights, the acquaintances, the dinners, the dances and the moments she had missed all these years behind this mask. As a defense in front of a fear that she could not explain, she got to learn a new way of being, of interacting and of making herself be loved. Now that the mask was gone, she had to start all over again. And no matter how happy she finally was, it scared her. She was a newborn adult again. And she was coming out of her shell, but this time committed to making her song be heard.
The cicadas’ song served as the best background for their time together. They laughed, they cried, it was all there, real and for the first time in line with what their souls felt, too.
The cicadas left a week later. It was their time.