We too have been collecting cicada skins at our place, initially for Noah's class project as the children are going to make a giant room sign for their class out of the skins. We thought we'd done well collecting 50-odd over the course of a few days, but our number soon multiplied when a gorgeous friend of mine Aneleise who writes over at A Fresh Approach found me at Friday football and handed over a rather large bag of the skins for us to use as she'd seen a picture of Noah on Facebook out collecting in his pyjamas and wanted to help.
In the creatures who lie dormant and still underground for up to 17 years.
Waiting, biding their time for just the right moment. Preparing. In the ultimate test of patience.
And when that moment comes, how do they know? They know because it's what they were born to do.
They know to slowly inch their way to the surface. To shed the restrictions of the tight skin that has kept them alive all these years. And when they emerge the whole world knows. Their call a cacophony that rises and falls, rises and falls from dawn to dusk like a summer symphony playing every day in the last bittersweet weeks of summer.
They only live up to 40 days at best.
Seventeen years of waiting, and forty days of singing. Then it's all over.
It's not unlike the story of our Saviour. He grew up in relative anonymity for 30 years, and it was only in the last 3 years of his life that he fulfilled his mission and purpose in his ministry.
Imagine that. Thirty years of waiting to birth a dream. But all the while preparing his heart for what was to come.
It gives me hope that the dreams I hold secretly, deep in my heart will also come to pass. And I realise that the waiting that wildly frustrates at times and makes me wonder if it will ever happen is actually incredibly necessary. A heart is being prepared, being readied, day by day. I may not see it now, but when I look back I will see the imperceptible tiny shifts that are needed to take me from here to there....
And if the cicada can wait seventeen years to serve his purpose, surely I can choose patience in the now, until the time is right....