Seventeen Years Under
These appear every now and again; sometimes a few at a time, sometimes in large numbers. The first time I saw one was in nighttime during the first camping trip my family went on at Dead Indian Lake. Revealed clinging to a tree beside the picnic table and illuminated by soft glow of our coleman lantern, that cicada was just emerging from its old skin and was gone by dawn. My siblings and parents and I all kept an eye on it as it transformed from its flightless form into a winged wonder–a delightful lesson in metamorphosis I'll never forget.
When we got home from the camping trip we searched Encyclopedia Britannica for more information about the strange creature and learned we had watched it morph after spending seventeen years living underground taking sustenance from tree roots. Blew my young mind.
Seeing them since that night out camping with family so long ago always stirs deep, heartfelt memories I never cease to enjoy and savor at length.