One Buggy Summer

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By Melissa Davies, Wise Ways Consulting

According to etymologists and naturalists, we are about to be bugged out by cicadas. If you’re new to Prince William County, new as in you’ve been here fewer than 17 years, you may be hearing people talk with mixed feelings about the coming swarm.

Brood X Cicadas

Virginia is one of fourteen states that hosts Brood X, a galactically large group of periodic cicadas that emerge every seventeen years. We can expect them in Prince William County too. If you live in a newer development, or one without a lot of trees, you may not notice the swarm but you might still hear them. If you live in an older, wooded community or like to enjoy our parks and trails, well…be prepared.

But don’t be scared. They’re harmless. Some people even say they are tasty.  After eighteen months of the pandemic you may be feeling, oh, what new horror is this? I disagree. Brood X represents a natural, healthy cycle. We can’t stop it, nor should we. As we’ve been hiding in our own homes, so have the cicadas. Now it’s time for us and them to come outside and sing in celebration of summer, of freedom, of life.

These otherworldly bugs are unique to our part of the country and they’ve been here a lot longer than we have.

A Karmic Meaning?

I don’t know what the karmic meaning of the Brood’s arrival means at a time when many of us are returning to our offices for the first time in over a year. I do see a lesson in patience and persistence. Many of us have anxiety and trepidation about emerging back into the world. I’ve spoken with many people who are worried they’ve lost their people skills – the art of chitchat and face-to-face communication.

If you think like a cicada or rather, follow your instincts, you’ll thrive. You too will sing from the top of the trees.

Remember to allow yourself patience and extend grace to yourself and others. Enjoy meeting people and being with others again. Be safe about your re-emergence. Get a vaccine and continue to wear a mask until we reach herd immunity. Or maybe this summer, it’s Brood X immunity!


Melissa Davies is an executive leadership coach and facilitator as well as the author of How Not to Act Like a BLEEP at Work.  She resides in Prince William County and runs Wise Ways Consulting, which specializes in leadership, management and team development, executive coaching, group facilitation and high-engagement training.  She can be reached at or through




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