Cicada Song – Truth in the Ordinary


I’ve been thinking a lot about cicadas lately. Mostly because I was walking the dog with middle son, and found a cicada who had just left his shell. “There’s a truth here,” I thought. I’m annoying that way. Always looking for truth in the ordinary.


Middle Son wanted to go back for his camera and take a picture, so we hurried home, picked up the camera and did just that. I still hadn’t come up with my lesson from a cicada. So, I did what any self-respecting teacher/discipler would do. I Googled it.

The type of cicada we found is a 17 year cicada. The life of one of theses beauties begins when its mother lays eggs in a slit on the bark of a tree. A few days later, the larvae from this deposit finds its way into the ground. They grow, unseen to the world and in darkness,from tiny larvae to about the size of a peanut, but it. takes. 17. years.

At the appointed time, the hard-shelled insect finds its way out of the darkness and into the light. Breaking out of its crusty straight jacket the cicada leaves the shell behind, and dries its wings in the sun. And then, it sings the familiar end-of-summer song so many of us recognize.

Did I ever find my lesson? Of course! God is always found in the ordinary. How many of us have a seed of faith planted inside, only to have it lie seemingly dormant for what seems like forever? Be encouraged! There is an appointed time; a time when you will leave the shell of growth behind and stretch your wings to sing in the glorious light. So, next time you hear the song of a cicada, remember the music you hear is 17 years in the making, and if you’re patient, your day will come. When it does, the tomb of the past will be forgotten in the joy of your song.

Linking with Ann today:

And perfectly imperfect Emily

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43 thoughts on “Cicada Song – Truth in the Ordinary

  1. Hi..from next door at Anns…I love the lessons you found in the simple cicada…”the hard shelled insect finds its way out of darkness into the light”. I feel like a cicada in many areas of my life…past being forgotten in the joy…singing a new song.
    Blessings~

  2. “There is an appointed time”…how comforting that is. Indeed you find truth in the ordinary, JourneyGirl. Thanks for sharing…. and I love the pictures.

  3. Wow…how inspiring! I had no idea about the cicada. Seventeen years until it’s song can be heard. That is a beautiful image. At times I feel as if I will never “sing” the way I envisioned as a child, and yet, we are growing everyday and all is part of the process.

  4. I love the positive you find, even in a cicada. I have to admit, I have a much dimmer view of the little buggers, with the damage they do to trees, especially the old elms as found in the eponymous Elmhurst, Illinois. They can be noisy little beasts, too, when they swarm.
    But as in all things, they are part of God’s world, and though (like many things) loved by some and disliked by others, all part of what makes life so interesting.
    Great post!

    • Thanks John. When it is the year of the cicadas, they can be overwhelming, but one at a time, on a case by case basis they’re kinda cool. I think they are beautiful….as long as I don’t have to touch them. or eat them, as a couple of my friends do.

  5. I love that you “are annoying that way.” I am too. Truly some seeds are dormant for seemingly a lifetime. 17 – isn’t that middle sons lifetime? See how fast it goes by? Time. It is so relative. xo

  6. So… how long does the cicada live after its 17 years of prep? i’m often convicted by stories of long, long, long preparation for something simple, short but incredible. personally, I’m a bit too impatient to do that but imagine I should.

    On another note, cicadas really weird me out for some reason. just sayin 😉

  7. nice…some cool wisdom brought by the cicada…used to get them really bad in MD…like swarms…i do like to listen to them on the deck…and cool to know they were 17 years in the making…

    • We get them horribly every seventeen years, and few stragglers in between. This happens to be a straggling year. According to my Google info, the next year we have them badly here in Northern Illinois is 2021. Last time that happened they were everywhere. There were recipes for them and everything. The sound was DEAFENING! Thanks for coming by!

  8. lovely post. i’m not a fan of insects and their loudness, so luckily in california we don’t have cicadas. but i’ve never thought about them like this before. thanks for the insights and truth today. (fellow linker from ann’s today!)

  9. How many times have I turned back with my daughter for a camera? 🙂 Now she’s learned to take it everywhere because you never know when you’ll need to take a picture, when you’ll see God in the ordinary.

  10. Lovely post, so thoughtful. I love the cacophony of the cicadas. Amazing sound when they’re all singing! The other think about cicadas I find fascinating is that they have such small wings in comparison to their large body. They shouldn’t be able to fly, but they do. God does amazing things with the impossible, doesn’t He?

  11. Yes, there is a lesson in the ordinary…and a wonderful one here about the cicada – one I will remember when I see another or hear their song – Thank you!

    • You are so welcome! I remember them as a child as well. I was walking between two houses in Chicago, (which are very close together) and I remember seeing one plastered on the stucco. Oh, how I screamed and ran!!

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