The breeze cools me. It's hot. Even underneath the protective cover of the juvenile maple trees that line the shaded walkway in the shadow of the Golden Dome, the heat finds a way to permeate and penetrate my attempt to elude it. It's a summer afternoon in South Bend - should I expect anything different? Soon the cool breeze of autumn will blow in, followed by the bitter chill of winter. In 3 months I should be so lucky as to bitch and complain about the heat. So I won't.
The cicadas don't seem to mind the heat. Their familiar call provides the soundtrack for another beautifully lazy day. Perhaps they are keenly aware that fall is knocking on the doorstep, with winter close behind. Perhaps they are just living for the moment, oblivious to the fact that life as they know it is about to come to an abrupt end. Whatever the case, their song ebbs and flows with the waning hours of the day - much like my emotions on this steamy September afternoon.
Currently I'm distracted by a squirrel in front of me, frantically scavenging nuts and burying them as fast as he can find them. Hoping he will stumble across this secret stash sometime after the snow melts in the spring in 6 months or so. He probably won't ever find the nuts - this amuses me. What a fool. Can't fault him for his lack of effort, though. But his frenetic work is all in vein. What a waste of time and energy...The more I contemplate, though, the more I suppose that I am not so different than this squirrel. Well-intentioned and hard-working. But dumb. Too dumb to just enjoy the gift of the present. Choosing, rather, to obsessively stress about a mostly uncontrollable future...
Back to the cicadas. They are still singing. They sing in the afternoon, into the evening. They sing well into the night. Providing this world with the gift of their song - whether we, the world, wish to listen or not.
I think I have something to learn from the cicadas. Just sing. Live in the present. Give the world your song and enjoy the gift of the present summer. Too often have I been like the foolish squirrel - frantically stressing over the impending winter. A winter - and future - over which I have little control. Instead of worrying, just live. And breathe. And enjoy this glorious day our Creator has given unto us.