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O My America: The 17-Year Cicada and a 34-Year Marriage

June 10, 2013
photoby Lawrence Bush Here they are. Three million per acre of land. All reproducing like crazy. Exactly thirty-four years ago, on June 10, 1979, I heard them swarming in the woods on the morning of my wedding (outdoors, in Monroe, New York’s Arrow Park), sounding like a flying saucer making a landing in a B-movie of my childhood, and I was hugely relieved when they stayed in the woods and left our food tables untouched. The 17-year cicada! This time, I’ve seen them. There’s only so close I can get before they’re under my shirt, but it’s close enough for photographs and a sound recording (which I’ll try to post in the next couple of days). Susan rainbowsAs I age, I find more and more that the outstanding, enduring memories of my life come from the natural world: walking among the Pacific redwoods, and seeing from their root systems how they “hold hands” underground; seeing a double rainbow behind my Susan’s head at Cape Cod; spotting a black bear running alongside our car in the Blue Ridge Mountains; being visited and revisited by the heron who lives near our house, who flies low overhead and devours all my thoughts; being stung by eight mud wasps at once and watching every bodily ailment I’ve ever suffered return until the antihistamine kicked in; being grinned at by a coyote while I’m thinking: Is that a dog? Is that a dog? And then there are the “natural world” memories of soft skin and wet kisses, indoors and outdoors . . . Below is my page, “Grand Canyon,” from the Jewish Currents Summer Supplement, “2 The Art of Marriage.” It’s just one of 32 pages by poets and artists and writers and photographers who capture love and marriage in much of its diversity and complexity. We have lots of extra copies, so please considering buying them as gifts for friends and lovers at our Pushcart. May we all be renewed in love and in nature, in hope and in friendship, again and again, until death finally does part us. Grand Canyon 2
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