Nursing the Dark, Eating the Light
Radiance Angelina Petro
One day, an acorn and a cicada nymph were talking underground, when a beam of light suddenly appeared shining down on the acorn.
“What is that?” asked the acorn.
“It’s light,” said the cicada.
“Why is it tugging at me?”
“That’s what light does.”
“What if I don’t want to move?”
“Dunno,” said the cicada, “I’ve been under here for 17 years. I like the dark.”
“I haven’t been under here for nearly as long,” said the acorn, “but it sure is comfortable.”
“And cool,” said the cicada, “and snug, and yeah, so cool—wonderfully cool.”
“What do I do?” asked the acorn.
“The pull. I mean, my heart feels like it’s breaking, and something inside wants out.”
“Go with it,” said the cicada. “So part of you moves into the light? Your roots will always be in darkness.”
“And what about you?”
“Me?” Said the cicada, “Well, when the light draws me out, and I climb a tree and wait for my wings to spill out, then my roots will be in the sky.”
“Should I try to fight the light?” asked the acorn.
“Good luck,” said the cicada. “Funny thing is, once during late summer, you fell to the ground and the darkness pulled you under and you loved it. You didn’t resist. You couldn’t resist. I heard you sinking down. You were weeping and laughing all at the same time because it was so nourishing and safe-feeling to be under here. Now you want to fight the light. Try this, just try breathing in the light, and see what happens.”
The acorn did as the cicada suggested and she suddenly felt the light breathing her and she found herself unfurling into the bright, blue sky, and the light–she was eating the light.
“There ya go,” said the cicada.
“Aren’t you coming?” asked the acorn as she turned away.
“When I have suckled the roots of the mother tree long enough,” said the cicada, “then I will come. For now I am still nursing the dark.”