Let Go of the Past / Cicada Shells

Cicada Shells

A cicada shell on one of our pine trees, the 40th entry in the 50with50 series

A cicada shell hangs on to the bark of one of our pine trees in the horse pasture, for the most recent entry in the 50with50 series. And it is a reminder to let go of the past, too.

A few weeks ago, we were excited to see several cicada shells on a pine tree. They are cool, and at the same time they are rather creepy. If bugs made their own haunted houses, I would think that a cicada shell would be a good main attraction. You (the bug) are climbing along on a tree at night when suddenly a lightning bug lights up a huge cicada shell while a cricket makes creepy noises! Parent bugs rush to comfort their frightened larvae! Moths fly away toward another light in fright! Or something like that.

Even though I am much larger than a bug, it is still just a little creepy to see all the shells there on the tree. Why just that one tree? Why don’t the shells fall off? Where did the cicada come from? Where did they go when they left the shells? So many questions.

It took me a few days from when we saw them until I went back out with my camera. I had been meaning to do it, but I kept forgetting, and then I figured they were gone. Once I saw they were still there one recent morning, I went back inside and grabbed my camera to capture the the scene. The 50mm lens worked well for this, I think.

Escape Artists

Another look a a cicada shell, 50with50 no. 41

How do the bugs get out of the shells? This view shows a slit in the back of the shell. Somehow, the cicadas are able to split their shells, back out, unfold their wings, and fly away. How cool is that? These guys are even better than Houdini!

Wouldn’t it be cool to be able to do that with our skin? I’m ready for a change, so POW I just slip out the back looking completely new and refreshed. Unfortunately, it does not work that way. But that’s okay, because after a while we would have trouble telling who’s who with everyone looking different all the time. Not to mention that all of our old shells would start to fill up the streets. So maybe it is better that we just stay how we are.

Let Go of the Past

While we can’t slip out of our skin and start fresh, that does not mean that we always have to hold on to the things in our past. We can let those go and move on, sort of like the cicadas leaving their old shells behind and moving on.

Right now, many people are wishing for things to be back the way they were before all of this COVID-19 stuff started. Maybe things will get back to how they were, or maybe they won’t. One friend recently said that what we are in right now might not be a new normal, meaning that maybe things won’t stay like this forever. But at the same time, they might not go back to exactly how they were, either.

Hold on to the good memories and the lessons learned from the past, but don’t let all of that drag you down. Let go and move on. Set new goals and work toward those. Focus on the future that is ahead of you and not the past that is behind you.

Especially if you have unpleasant things in your past, you should definitely let those go. Once again, you can learn from those times, but you don’t have to hold on to them. I have seen many people who have not been able to accomplish much in life because they were too tied to something in their past. They were holding onto it instead of letting it go.

Letting to of the past may not always be easy, because we sometimes fear the unknown. We would rather stay with what is familiar, even if it is not always the best. It can be hard to take that first step, but it will definitely provide dividends in the long run.

Hopefully, before too long what we are experiencing right now will be the past and we will be letting go of it. I think that many people will have no trouble at all in letting go of much of what we have right now!

Let go of the past, and focus on the future!

Bible Verse

But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. - Philippians 3:13-14

About the Photos

I knew that I wanted to use the 50mm lens for these photos and have them in the 50with50 series, and they turned out just like what I saw in my mind, which is always nice.

One minor drawback to the 50mm lens is the minimum focusing distance. I could not get quite as close as I wanted to the cicada shells. However, I was able to crop the photos slightly to make it look like I was closer. That worked well, I think.

And I really like the bokeh (the blurry part) on the first photo. The 50mm lens really shows its stuff in that photo.

Also, you may have noticed that I changed up the “quote card” style from what I have been using. I thought it would be nice to try something different for a change, just to keep things fresh around here. And no, all of them in the future will not use that same font, because that is actually not a font. Instead it is just my bad handwriting. Or “art”, if you prefer.

Photo: A single Raw exposure, processed in Aurora HDR. Read more about photography tips, photo software, camera gear, and more at Steve’s Photography Tips.
Camera: Sony Alpha A7 II
Lens: SonyFE 50mm f/1.8
Date: August 13, 2020
Location: Home, WillistonTennessee

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Burnsland is Steve Burns, with generous help from his lovely wife Laura. Steve is a husband, father, photographer, webmaster, writer, podcaster, artist, Christian. Steve enjoys sharing his photography, art, and stories through Burnsland.com, from the Burnsland World Headquarters in Tennessee.