Saturday, June 19, 2021
Cicadas – insects, jumping bugs disagreeable to the human eye and ear – came out of their underground living quarters this year, peeked into the daylight and entered our above-ground world. After 17 years, they were glad for a change of scenery. They chirped enthusiastically and flapped their wings, creating a constant vibrating background noise that could drive one crazy. The couple of days I experienced them close up was not a pleasant occasion by any stretch of the imagination.
The cicadas mated, flew around, and divebombed unsuspecting folks like me trying to enjoy fresh air, sunshine, warmth – the great outdoors. But cicadas do not bite or sting. Relatively harmless, they are nevertheless annoying.
In many ways 2021 might be described as my cicada year, marking my emergence back into the world.
I came out of months-long quarantine, peeked out into the real world, and entered indoor spaces avoided for months. I spoke to folks face-to-face and made joyful sounds – music to my ears, possibly annoying to cicadas and other animals, but welcomed by me and other folks missing personal, eye-to-eye contact.
I have, however, faced minor bumps in the road along the way to re-entry.
I feel naked in public without a mask. Do I have to wear makeup again?
I get annoyed waiting in lines to pay for my purchases, impatient to leave, although not on a tight time table. I want to get away from everyone surrounding me. Apparently it will take time to get used to people being…everywhere.
For months I granted a lot of leeway to folks when walking along the sidewalk or wandering store aisles. Everyone understood why. Is it now considered impolite and downright rude to steer clear of people? Will my movements be misconstrued?
I am a lazy introvert, and covid proved comfortable to folks like me. Zooming into a meeting 30 seconds before start time appeals more than doing the prep work (dressing for life outside my house, applying make-up, etc.) before leaving a half hour early and driving somewhere.
Unlike cicadas, I will not burrow back into my home and re-enter quarantine mode, but continue to step out. I have yet to enter a theater, crowded bar or casino. Eventually circumstances will find me doing so, and it will be no big deal. I will not think about how months before I avoided people contact.
Most people are, like cicadas, relatively harmless. At times some people may be annoying, but I look forward to meeting, mingling, and mixing once again.