Cicada Talk

Early summer.  Austin, Texas.  Late evening. I sat on my back porch. Nursing my first IPA of the night. Or was it my 12th? I never was good at math.  Regardless, in the silence, I realized I wasn't alone. The first two cicadas of the year had shown up in my backyard. Each on opposite sides of the half-acre.  And locked themselves in an entirely deliberate call and response. Now, I do not speak cicada.  I do speak a little Spanish, but I don't think cicadas practice much Spanish, except for perhaps late at night outside the local taco trucks. And yet, by blessing of the eternal vibes of the infinite and interconnected cosmos, I knew exactly what those two tiny bastards were saying. The first cicada said, as loud as his little cicada heart could muster, "I'm alive!!!!!!"  And the other could not resist the call.  "I'm alive too!!!!!," it replied.  And they continued.  "I may be a f*cking bug, but I'm bigger than this!"  And the response, "We are not just f*cking bugs!"  And the reply, filled with desperate crescendo, "See me God!  See meeeeee!!!!" And the echoed response, "Yes! See us God!!!  See us all!  We are alive!"  I know this.  I know this sure as the rainbowy stitched, flower inlayed, Heritage boots on my feet. I know this because it is not the first time I have heard this song. It's the same song the birds sing to one another at sunrise across the forest.  It's the same song the whales sing out across the depths.  And it's the same song we sing to one another, fans and artists, across smoky barrooms and dimly lit fairgrounds and guilded amphitheatres. It is the cry of defiance. The song of life. Filling the void with beatific and rapturous echoes. "We are here."..."We are alive."..."You too?"..."Me too."...."Thank God."

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