Cicada’s Road Ahead

“Ding!”, there goes another one. Another soul lost doing a sixty m.p.h. header into my windshield. It wasn’t my fault – this tragic, fateful ending of an insect’s seventeen year lifespan. The darn cicada mistook my curved Honda glass for open air space and met its sudden final act. Actually, sixty m.p.h. is a low estimate. Mathematically, the combined impact speed of my car plus the knots of the flying insect was probably higher.

“Another one” is an understatement. They’re everywhere. That small misfortune yesterday was, by my estimate, number four. I can’t be the only one spending extra cash on washer fluid to re-supply an over-used windshield bug tank. With millions of ’em flying around looking for a once every seventeen year love connection, a percentage are bound to end up as automobile decals.

This one yesterday, I swear, did a somersault off the top of my roof after impact. Going too fast to be sure, I can’t confirm the feat, but my rearview mirror caught a shadow that may have been the tumble. The bug most certainly didn’t survive as evidenced by my inability to see through the white glob directly in my line of sight.

I don’t want to be mean to these insects. There are no kill paint images added on my car sides every time one kamikazes its little butt into my life. I’m not mean to non-human beings. Magnifying ants, or slingshotting rabbits, are activities I don’t search out. If these little cicada buggers would just stay underground and off the air where cars travel, we’d be better friends … and not have such a dangerous, one-way, relationship.

Staying underground – and silent – is a problem for them, however. Jimminey, they’re noisy. Millions of ’em in our community, singing away, are bookending the town with their own harmony … a harmonious, mating male tone meant to be heard by females up to a mile away. Sometimes a group chorus keeping predatory birds away is a necessity, so silence has been a few-and-far-between luxury lately. Tree groupings and forest foliage ring out with imagoes intones lasting for days …

All this … and we have to watch where we walk, too. Crusty paths, strewn with stompy misfortunes, wind in and among local parks. As I sat comfortably overlooking our borough last week from a popular small park, a few relics of small lives lost were at final rest by my feet – possibly ended under the unintended feet of others.

Cicadas are in our clothes, hair, homes, cars, …. and lives. Every seventeen years, I guess.

I do not like them, just to be as clear as a cleaned off windshield. So, according to Google, “They prune mature trees, aerate the soil, and once they die, their bodies serve as an important source of nitrogen for growing trees.” … Still not enough good side to win me over.

We can’t love everything in our lives, right? Accept them for what they are? Sure, but love, admire, and appreciate? …. Uhm, no.

The moment these cicadas get all their lovemaking out of their system and scram will be the same moment I will flick my rejoicing into overdrive. They can go back underground for another seventeen years PLUS and I’ll gladly wait until my 70’s for their inevitable return when my driving may not be quite as fast; Therefore, the windshield mess I will need to clean should be less expensive to maintain.

Damn insects need to take a few years to learn the difference between open space and glass. Still won’t be my fault when it inevitably happens again – whether tomorrow, or down the road years from now. I have a limited number of “dings” to allot in my lifetime and this current go-around is using up quite a few.

They need to think this through. I have. It’s to their benefit they do the same. Their very life depends upon it. That is, if I stay off the road, I guess.

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