Tuesday, August 07, 2012
Consider the Cicada. These little buggers are all over the place in August. At first, their chirping sounds in the trees are somewhat soothing. As more and more gather though, it becomes so deafening as to be almost painful. It is also a remarkable bug in it's transformation from one form to another.
Butterflies are usually the symbol for transformation or change. They start off as a caterpillar, go into a cocoon, then emerge as a completely different organism. Yet, I don't really see butterflies as a true example of transformation because....they don't work at it. Butterflies just have the change done to them by their genetics while they wait in a cocoon. They basically expend the same effort that I would in growing my whiskers. It just happens.
The Cicada on the other hand...they have to change everything in their lives to get that new life. Cicadas live most of their lives underground feeding off tree roots. If I remember my biology, they do this for about ten to fifteen years. Happily crawling under the soil, drinking root juice, until they have the compulsion to go to the surface and mate. They then tunnel their way out by the hundreds and climb up trees and the sides of houses. Then...that remarkable transformation occurs.
They split their outer skin along the backside and wriggle themselves out. Unlike the butterfly, the cicada has still retained its same basic form; only better, more color, and...wings. The cicada will spend quite a bit of time squeezing out of what is now a dried shell. It will spend more time waiting for its wings to expand. During this time, the cicada is vulnerable to predators such as birds and squirrels and young kids who may want to capture them in jars.
They don't have a choice.
A cicada must transform or die. It cannot go on in the form it had for so many years of its life. Like so many of us, the transformation comes out of necessity rather than desire. I'm sure the cicada would be quite content to live as it had but it's biology dictates it do something different...or die.
This is what I think of with my own goal of transformation. Unlike a butterfly, it is something that will not just happen no matter how much I may wish for it to occur. Like a cicada, I would also be just as happy to live my life as I always had. Yet, like a cicada, I must transform or die. Age has a nasty tendency to present you with problems that were of no concern to me as a youth. Food, exercise, healthy habits...I got along fine without them for years. Now; however, health problems are popping up as a way of my body saying "you can't do this anymore".
So...I have to get my wings...but I'll have to crawl out of my hole and work for them.
......and hope the birds don't get me first