The cicadas are coming again this year (And Dr. Okorafor is a most wonderful writer, in case you’ve somehow missed her work):
I have memories of seeing cicadas when I was a kid, probably when we visited relatives on the East Coast when I was a pre-teen. I was freaked out a bit by their appearance, but mesmerized and enraptured by their singing.
Eight years ago we were in Virginia Beach during one of the cicada brood’s hatching and I wrote about going cicada hunting, unsuccessfully. And while that afternoon was pleasant (family, food, wine, chocolate) the somewhat hilarious memory that always comes back to me is how the Long Suffering Niece In Training #2, sitting in the back seat, kept asking every half hour or so, “Where are we going?” She hadn’t been in on the planning but had been invited along and figured we had some sane, rational, entertaining destination in mind.
I kept replying, “We’re going hunting for cicadas,” which while 100% truthful, when combined with my (well earned) reputation as “Funcle Paul,” someone who you usually took seriously at your own risk, combined to make the question on repeated iterations, “No, REALLY, where are we going?” The fact that everyone else in the car kept giving her the same answer probably had her ready to jump out and hitchhike home.
I guess it’s sort of a bizarre, humorous take on the Cassandra story combined with the little boy who cried wolf.
So, when we eventually bailed on my quest, found a place for a nice lunch at a winery, found a specialty chocolate store, and had a wonderful time, but all without ever seeing or hearing a single cicada, The Long Suffering Niece In Training #2 still to this day probably believes that my “cicada story” was all 100% bullshit from the beginning. Even though I would, in fact, still like to see and hear the cicadas.
Probably not this year either. I guess it will just have to be more chocolate and wine (socially distanced, of course).