Josh Lorenzo is a humor writer, and longtime reader and active contributor to comments on the Capital Weather Gang.

Hi there, you little winged ladies and gentlemen. It is I, the owner of the soil you are burrowing your way out of. I also own the trees you hope to one day climb. I just wanted to welcome all of you on the adventure that has been 17 years in the making!

Funny story: I knew your parents! Like you, they were wonderful, gregarious little cicadas. They climbed these same trees 17 years ago. Sadly, they died of natural causes in 2004, right before you were born — or hatched or whatever. You would’ve loved them, and they certainly would’ve been proud of you.

I’m dating myself, but I even knew your grandparents — when I was 10 back in 1987! Your resemblance to both your parents and grandparents is uncanny.

As I know you have a busy agenda, I will get right to the point.

I want you to know that while you are on my property, you will be treated with the respect that any living thing residing underground for 17 years deserves. I made a promise to your folks that I’d look after you, and I intend to keep my promise.

Now, I won’t be able to protect everyone from the prowling threat of birds and squirrels awaiting you. These animals consider you a delicacy, which I find unfathomable. What I can promise you is a chance, an opportunity to continue your family. The rest is up to you.

I will do my best not to mow you, weed-whack you or leaf-blow you away. If you appear on my patio or on the sidewalk, I will place you on a tree and wish you well on your journey to mate. I do not fear you getting into my hair, because, unlike in 2004, I don’t have any. If you stumble into my home accidentally, please do not let the shrieks of my daughter frighten you. She is only 16 and hasn’t experienced a cicada surge before.

So, for the next several weeks or so, my yard is your yard! If there is anything you’d like me to pass along to your offspring in 2038, just let me know. I’ll be 61 and, hopefully, still climbing myself (pun intended).



P.S. Apologies for the recent cold snap we experienced and for the negative effect that might have had on some of you early risers. To lodge a formal complaint about the weather, please contact the folks at the Capital Weather Gang. I know I will be doing the same amid this unrelenting heat wave.

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