The Cicada, The Squash Bugs and Hollow Myths

Growing up on Long Island, the deafening buzz of cicadas was the sound of hot summer days.   I’d find their empty shells, like ghosts still clinging to the tree or building they happened to be on when they molted.

It was more unusual to see the insect itself.

As I was watering my vegetable garden this morning, I saw what I believe to be a cicada on a squash leaf. It’s the right size (about 2″) and shape, only the color is different than what I’m used to seeing. All of the cicadas I’ve seen are shades of green with some spots of red or yellow around their head.

I left the cicada to fill up the watering can and when I came back to have another look it moved to the stem of the squash leaf and where it had been were a clutch of eggs.

At first I thought they were cicada eggs.  It made sense, the Cicada was there then the gone and left behind were eggs.

But it was as simple as Googling “bugs on squash leaf.”  That’s where I came across the website called Savvy Gardening and found out that the eggs were squash bug eggs. Once hatched the bugs could easily kill the plant.

Since I only have one squash plant and one zucchini plant it was easy to look through all the leaves to see where the eggs were.  I pulled those leaves or the parts with the eggs on them, off the plant.  I also found an adult and some newly hatched squash bugs.

Squash bug eggs

I’ve already picked five or six small yellow squash from my one plant.  I usually just slice them and cook them up in a little olive oil and grate some Romano cheese on them.  But I have three or four saved that I  plan to make some squash cakes from.

I have to thank the cicada for making me aware of the squash bug eggs.  I don’t think I would have noticed them if I hadn’t seen the cicada sitting on the squash leaf.

Like the moth and butterfly, the cicada is a symbol of transformation and rebirth.  And because they can wait up to 17 years to emerge from their life underground, it feels particularly encouraging to me.

My own personal transformation has already been going on for years. Like the cicada, I had a life underground.  I was living in the shadow of the truth about myself and those around me.

I began to emerge when I was in my mid-forties.  And here I am once again.   At 58 years old I’m finally letting go of some of the oldest myths about my life that I’m just realizing were never really true.

They still cling to me at times, like the ghost shell of the cicada left behind, yet still holding on.

But every day my old myths are becoming lighter, they ring hollow, as I’m finding truth in the new story that is my life right now.

4 thoughts on “The Cicada, The Squash Bugs and Hollow Myths

  1. What a beautiful way to tie together several events and themes.

    Is it me or are the squash bug eggs surprisingly pretty?

    1. It all came to me as I started writing about the cicada Trish. And yes, they are really pretty and the adolescent bugs are a beautiful bluish white.

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