Magazine article Sojourners Magazine

The Year in Review. (Too Soon?)

Magazine article Sojourners Magazine

The Year in Review. (Too Soon?)

Article excerpt

it'S A LittLe early to be looking back at the past year, but I have to say I'm very disappointed in 2014. It was supposed to be the Year of the Cicada, a time when millions of fat little bugs would emerge from the ground and loudly buzz around the nation's capital, possibly joining the chorus to impeach the presi- dent. (The cries for impeachment had developed a definite bug-like drone.)

Every 17 years or so, the cicadas are supposed to emerge from the ground where they have been ges- tating and, for the first week of their debut, bring a welcome distraction to life's problems. By week two, how- ever, they've become life's problems, striking your head and other body parts as you walk outside, or even inside if you leave the screen door open too long for a cat who just ... can't ... decide.

Fortunately, they all die after a couple weeks, but then venturing out into your backyard sounds like walking on corn flakes, if corn flakes were green and disgusting, and dead.

But none of that happened this year. Instead of the fun and natu- ral wonder of watching bugs freeing themselves from their dark captivity and flying forth into the glorious light of day, we got nada.

No sitting on the front porch watching cicadas celebrating their new world or becoming lunch to passing birds, whichever comes first; no entomological moment of awe; no opportunity to provide learned commentary on nature's brutal cycle of life to a wide-eyed grandchild. ("So that's why you should stay in school and not take drugs.")

Some town across the river got a few hundred of the bugs, but in my block in Washington, D.C., we found only one, lying on its back in a flower bed, and-like a dead corn flake- not moving.

Despite the limited utility a dead bug offers for important life lessons, our 3-year-old tried her best to gain something from the experience. She picked up the car- cass and gently placed it inside an upturned plastic sand mold, where it lay in state for a week, even trav- eling with us by car for a few days at the beach. …

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