Get Used to Ugly
It's been a slow, cautious entry into spring this year. Usually I'm not ready for it cause we never really get winter in Austin, and I love winter. But this year, after TWO big snow storms, including a crazy polar vortex that left us below freezing for days with no power and no water, I guess I'm ready for spring.
The problem is, it didn't come at first. I saw a few signs of spring before the freeze, but those quickly died from the cold. After the freeze, everything, and I mean everything seemed dead. I resisted the urge to cut down and clear the ugly brown landscape because more experienced gardeners said to wait.
Just wait. Get used to ugly for awhile and let nature do its thing.
Because nature is so good at "doing it's thing." I know I should have more faith, and deep down I knew that the landscape would adapt somehow. But after a year full of disappointments, I wasn't hopeful. That's what spring is supposed to remind us of, hope, but I wasn't there yet.
Watching the landscape slowly emerge over the next few weeks, I was constantly reminded of the importance of patience. Nature works on a timeline, but it's a very LONG timeline that has spanned billions of years on this planet. As I see more and more green around me now, and more green than brown, my hope is returning.
Nature's timeline makes me realize that one year of life as a brown, ugly landscape is not that long.
Annual Green Cicada freshly emerged.
These songstresses can teach you the commonly neglected art of communicating with yourself. Cicadas are strong communicators and inspire the same trait in people through their songs. They have a very distinct sound that is all their own, which symbolizes the need to channel your own voice and march to the beat of your own drum. The Cicada spiritual totems thus help you to understand and be in tune with yourself by aiding in uncovering deep truths and thoughts that have been forgotten. After putting you in touch with your own voice, they aid in connecting it with your most heartfelt desires.
Yes, they're gross, and ugly, and these red-eyed versions are a bit scary looking, but be patient. Take a moment to learn about things that disgust you. Gain insight into their life story. It is a great way to overcome your disgust and connect with the world around you.
Ms. Jennie is an outdoor educator in Austin, TX. She has a background in Montessori education, and strives to get families and kids out in nature to connect & wonder.