Sunday, October 13, 2013

Childhood Tales - Bug Hunts

When I was a girl, there was a lady who would look after me sometimes after school. She had giant pine trees in her yard and a favorite past time of mine was, in the Autumn, to find Cicada shells clinging to those trees. Cicadas, as most know, go through the process of metamorphosis - changing from their nymph form to the one we most recognize with wings. The picture above is one that I caught not long after emerging from its exoskeleton.

I don't know why I was so fascinated by these shells. I guess I can understand how some people would be creeped out by them. But when I was a child, they were just neat. Like any child who would collect rocks or seashells.

A few days ago I happened to be at that same place that was so familiar in childhood and I was immediately drawn to look for the Cicadas. Like saying hello to an old friend. Happily, I found them! And I collected 96 shells. Wow! I haven't a clue what I will do with 96 Cicada shells but it was just so fun to go on the treasure hunt for them.

This time, however, I felt a little bit sad. There was one cicada that didn't make it and only succeeded in getting halfway out its exoskeleton. It's a neat find, to be sure. Halfway between its old life and a new one. But at the same time, heart-breaking.

Most, if not all of those 96 cicadas are somewhere living their very brief but busy lives after such a long time hidden underneath the ground. But to leave a part of themselves behind! It's a visual example of leaving childhood and becoming an adult. Aww! I almost want to keep those shells just to be able to say "Yes! You were once something else. Here you are! Don't forget!"

Ah, well. It was a fun remembrance to my own childhood and who I was, once upon a time. But such is life and so we must continue on. Always changing, growing and becoming something better than we once were. But once in a while we can look back and smile at the memories.

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