Seventeen Year Cycles

Cicada stramps from around the world

Cicada stramps from around the world (Photo credit: DanCentury)


So much as been written about cicadas and their seventeen year period cycles.  My sister-in-law pointed me to one informative map from the New York Times.  No doubt, the cicadas have got a lot of people thinking.


This summer, I was to read Proust, but I am leaving it for the fall, when my time is more ordered than now. ( I am very happy to note my translator of choice won the Man Booker International Prize.)


Instead of In Search of Things Lost, I am thinking of Things to Come.  I joked to my niece that she ought to enjoy the cooing in the trees as she complains about their crunch underfoot, an easy thing to say where my near coastal yard is not cicada-filled but never quiet nonetheless.  I hear the continuous gulping of a frog, or the twittering of various birds, the swoosh of traffic, the buzz of construction. (I did hear a bumble bee squeakily explore a foxglove flower as I weeded nearby one after–a thrilling sound!)


I tell my niece in seventeen years, she will be someone entirely different from who she is now, but that I realize is the same for me, a deeply sobering thought.  Seventeen years will see me teetering towards seventy, an age I never really imagined, though I see ninety with some clarity.


What will I have done in seventeen years time?  I thought I had thirty years more to write books, to become the world-class writer I once dreamed of being at twenty-five.  When I embarrassingly asked my editor if I had it in me to become part of the conversation of world novelists I so admire, though I phrased it more crassly, she said, quite simply, I better get busy.  She is right. I would like to write more books.


I once only wanted to write six. Seventeen divided by three=five point six years.  Whew.  That seems immensely do-able.



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