The first day I moved to Atlanta I thought the sound of cicadas would cause my eardrums to burst. It was their tenor buzz that greeted me when I stepped out the car on that first night and looked around. Instantly swallowed in a cloud of humidity, I listened to thunder rumble above as fireflies twinkled, unperturbed.
What was I doing here? No job, one friend and no family. Nothing but me and the cicadas.
They were foreign. This place was foreign. They sang a song of shrill fear and expectation.
Why did this decision that had once filled me with peace, suddenly feel like the most reckless decision of my life? When I left Madison, Wisconsin, fireworks championed me on, celebrating the end of a beautiful season, and welcoming the new. I left the day after the Fourth of July, heart full and eyes shining. Now my knees barely kept me standing in the driveway.
That night I could barely sleep for the cicadas and anticipation. But I did eventually.
* * *
Tonight I sit on the riverbank by our home. We have one now. It's nothing much, just a few rooms, our books and the food we like to eat. But we love it.
On either side of me sit new friends, and my new family-- my husband. How did I get here? How did I start with nothing, but find my heart and hands so full? It's a very different night than the one that brought me here.
I doubted that He would pull through, but he did. He provided manna, in the desert. He provided fellowship when I stood alone.
Suddenly I hear the cicadas. Somehow their persistent clamor surfaces from the background, and I hear them again. Just as loud, just as full of Georgia summer life.
Instead of an unwelcome intrusion keeping me up at night, they've become the song I fall asleep to. A song of victory. A song of belonging.
Fireflies float over the rushing river, illuminating it quickly before disappearing into the blackness in a sleepy game of hide-n-seek.
* * *
Tomorrow we leave for the road again. That beautiful, untamed road. It's bittersweet. I'll miss this little sapling home we've planted here among the cicadas. But I know they'll be here to welcome us, to welcome us home.
We planted our seed in Midwestern snows
Set against odds, we prayed it might grow.
Huddled for warmth, and braced for the cold,
We sheltered this treasure planted in hope.