The Legend Of The Cicada

Have you ever been so in love that you wished the two of you could live together forever and ever? This is the story of a pair of lovers who had a similar wish…

Greek mythology tells of Aurora, the goddess of the dawn, whose siblings were Apollo, the sun god, and Selena, the moon goddess. Legend had it that one day, she caught Venus, the goddess of love, in the arms of someone other than her husband. Outraged at being caught, Venus retaliated by ordering her son Cupid, to shoot Aurora with arrows of love that would make her fall in love only with mortals. So Aurora, an immortal being, was destined to love only those doomed to live one lifetime.

One of these was Tithonus, a prince of Troy. Aurora was so smitten with the handsome youth that she begged Zeus himself, the king of the gods, to grant him immortality. Zeus felt sorry for the lovers so he gave Tithonus the rare gift of immortality. The amorous couple was determined to spend the rest of their lives together in a state of eternal bliss. Fate, however, had other plans.

As the years passed by, Aurora noticed a change in her man. His ardor seemed to gradually cool off, his interest slowly waned, and his energy seemed to decline. Aurora started to worry. Was he plagued by a mystery ailment, or was his affection stolen by another? She soon found out the answer was neither. The reason behind Tithonus’ gradual transformation soon became undeniable: he was simply growing old.

In her excitement in asking for immortality for Tithonus, Aurora had forgotten to ask for eternal youth. Too late, there was no turning back the ravages of time. Tithonus’ hair grew increasingly gray and sparse until it disappeared entirely, and his flesh grew old and withered until it fell off his frame completely. Alas, Aurora, who loved him when he was in the prime of his life, could not stand the sight of him as an old man. She soon lost interest in him and started pursuing other mortals.

courtesy of dpchallenge.com

Tithonus was understandably devastated over this development. It was especially painful for him to see her fresh and renewed at the dawn of each day while he approached the twilight of his years, gradually aging but never dying. Day and night, he would lament about her change of heart and bemoan the immortality which had now become a curse . As he continued to grow older, she continued to grow colder towards him. She finally grew tired of his incessant babbling and had him locked up. He continued to waste away until all that was left of him was his voice singing of love and begging for death. In the end, Aurora finally took pity on him. She turned him into a cicada, a creature that now symbolizes immortality.

So, as the cicada chirps its songs of love and courtship, it reminds us of one who learned too late that life is more precious because it is fleeting.

1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. jhen
    Jul 05, 2016 @ 16:29:25

    who is this author?

    Reply

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