Do you hear the cicadas?
Have you noticed the song of the cicadas lately? It’s pretty hard to miss. One of my friends in high school said she always thought it was a very melancholy sound, because it meant summer was almost over. Very recently, another friend echoed the same sentiment, though his emotional response, I believe, went past melancholy to resentment.
Surely there are plenty of warm, sunny days left in this year’s calendar. There’s no need to go looking for parkas or mittens just yet, but school is starting today for some of our friends on the Illinois side of the Quad Cities, and many others won’t be far behind. The cicadas do remind us, then, that no season lasts forever. And, while that might be saddening for those who love the warmth and sunshine of summer, it can also be welcome news.
“For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven,” says the writer of Ecclesiastes, “a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted…a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance.”
All of us are living in the same season – the season of singing cicadas – but at the same time we are each moving through unique seasons of life. Some may be welcoming new life into the world while others say goodbye to loved ones. A new relationship, a new job, or relocation may distinguish this moment in time for certain ones among us, but a fresh loss may serve as the nearest turning point right now for others. Whatever season you or I may be living in now, it will not last forever. Other seasons will follow.
The cicadas show up and raise their noisy song at the same time every year, pointing to a certain constancy. The cicadas are faithful, and so is God. But as people of faith, we don’t just believe that God is with us through every season of life, but that God is guiding and sustaining us as we move towards something better. The end of one season, though it may be melancholy for some, is a step towards the next good thing God has in store.
–Ryan Bailey, director of faith formation