Thursday, June 28, 2012

Chasing Fireflies

I've always been enchanted by the flittering, glowing lights of the fireflies that dot the night in the summertime.   Somehow even the humidity and hordes of gnats and mosquitoes that always accompany the the fireflies' arrival to the horizon, seems a little less oppressive when spent in the presence of the gleaming beauty of fireflies at dusk.   Their arrival each year never fails to remind me of the summers of my childhood spent in Minnesota when I would race through the low evening light with a jar carefully tucked under my arm, while I captured as many of the glowing creatures as I could get my hands on.   

Although normally not much of a bug-in-a-jar kind of girl, I remember being enamored with the idea of having a little glowing jar of fireflies on my dresser, envisioning the jar to become my own fairy-esque nightlight.  It took me several years to realize that enchanting though they may be while flying through the night air of my backyard, they lose a little of their shine indoors.    Eventually I stopped trying to capture their beauty in a jar and instead have tried to use the fireflies' arrival each year as a signal to slow down and capture beautiful new summer memories.   

And although it usually happens right when I'm trying to put them to bed for the night, I can't help but smile as I watch my kids happily traipsing through the yard, usually barefoot, while capturing their own summertime memories.   

For anyone who wants to introduce a young child to the joys of fireflies (or recapture their beauty throughout the year), then I highly recommend the very enchanting book,  The Very Lonely Firefly, by Eric Carle.  The story is simple and repetitive (perfect for young children) and I never tire of watching their faces light up with  delight and surprise when, on the last page of the book, little electronic lights light up the fireflies' bodies in a flittering pattern that reminds me of a summer night.  :)


"At the end of the day, when the wind dies,
The dusk goes wrapped in fireflies
Clouds of sparkles that flit and pause,
Darting jewels on wings of gauze.
Dusk is loveliest of all,
With these live twinkles on her shawl!"
                                                                                                                          Ethel Jacobson


Lisa @ Pulsipher Page said...

We called them lighting bugs. One of the many things I miss from back east.

Steve said...

One of the joys of my childhood in rural Arkansas.

Shelley said...

Living here, I've seen fireflies for the first time in my life! They really are so magical.

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