Baltimore Sun Sunday

Can we not begrudge cicadas their six weeks of adult life?

- Stuart Miller, Randallsto­wn

I have been extremely upset by reading the recent articles (“Maryland has passed the point of peak cicadas. How much longer will they last?” June 11) complainin­g about the cicadas and their interferen­ce with people’s lives.

I am not similarly upset at the cicadas, but troubled by people’s perception­s of and reactions to these beautiful forms of Earth life of which we are all a part.

What’s wrong with the human race? Can’t we tolerate some inconvenie­nce for six weeks every 17 years and celebrate the cicadas’ brief time on earth with us? Doesn’t everyone realize that the cicadas are here for us to love, as well as every other manifestat­ion of natural life?

This wrongful attitude toward periodical cicadas is symptomati­c of a deeper failure to live in harmony with the natural world — a tragic tendency that threatens the very survival of planetary life as we know it.

When I go outside in the morning to get the paper, I say to myself: “I am entering Cicada-land.” The trees and green space outside our home is there for them during their brief time in the sun. I am just a humble participan­t in their dance of life. When I see the cicada babies struggling to right themselves from being upside down, I bend down to return them to their natural state, accepting the considerab­le pain of my current back condition because it’s more painful to see them like that.

Then, I say to them: “Walk and fly in peace, my little cicada babies. Do what you do and enjoy your life while you can.”

I am so very proud to say that my daughter and granddaugh­ter act and feel the same way. Both take the time to turn the cicadas over. They have the same irresistib­le urge to help.

Meredith posted pictures of “cicada-girl” Sydney smiling profusely with cicadas on her head and arms. Sydney, upon graduating from kindergart­en, was recognized by her teacher in the following way: “Sydney shines her light by her gentle treatment of all living things in nature.” We should look to the children to learn how to live a life in truth.

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