My husband and I took a one night get away out to Verona. We call these kind of miniature vacations a mini-moon. They don’t have to be romantic, they just need to be someplace else. There is a little hotel out there that has a waffle iron as part of its continental breakfast. Its the reason we pick that hotel. So our one night away was a warm humid night, it had rained previously, so everything was wet and glistening in the street lamps. Walking back to our room, across the parking, lot in an unmown grassy area were hundreds of jazzy fireflies putting on a dazzling show. We stopped and watched caught up in the magic of their tiny willow-the-wisp yellow green dancing lights (until the mosquitoes found us). Summer splendor! Mini-moon magic!
Darkness, lantern turned off, listening to water dripping from the sodden trees. It is dry under the tarp, although the air is humid and the blankets feel damp. I hear night noises, quiet rustling and whispering shuffles out in the forest. I am contemplating the darkness of the nighttime world when I see a flash of tiny yellow light. It flashes several times more, I realize there is a lightening bug sitting on the outside of the tent. I see another on the other side. These two fireflies showing off their glowing tails in an effort to attract a mate. I am a silent spectator, watching with fascination, as a third firefly flies in toward the tent. I can not see the actually insects themselves, only the random yet rhythmic flashing of their tails. Its my own little personal fireworks show in the dry space under the tarp.
On a warm summer evening, as the blue dusk of almost dark slowly deepens into the purple of completely dark, twilight in the west and twinkling stars above in the endless velvet night sky. I take a walk down the road, across the bridge to the overgrown field. Wearing long pants and sleeves to discourage mosquitoes, I stand on the edge of the road, gazing across the tall grasses, mesmerized. Thousands of tiny green yellow lights flashing near and far! Silent magical woodland fairies calling to each other in a language of light. I could watch for hours! Crickets humming, the creek gurgling, a calm breeze gently stirring the green plants, a distant dog barks twice, and fireflies everywhere with their glowing pixie lights. I am immersed in the effervescence, the bio luminescent glow, the magic of firefly light. Surrounded by these tiny flashing insects makes me feel connected and alive!
I am back up north in the Adirondacks, sitting with friends on a porch, watching nighttime slowly blanket the earth. We are talking and laughing, hanging out and enjoying the warm evening, slapping black flies and mosquitoes. A yellow crescent moon peaks out from behind a billowy cloud above the eastern ridge. I smile as we discuss the earth’s rotation on its axis, its revolution around the sun and galaxy, mysteries of astronomy and physics that give us our regular cycles of life. Then suddenly, up in the dark tree branches silhouetted against the night sky, one lone yellow green spark flashes. I sit up and point, but of course its gone. A few moments later, in a slightly different spot if flashes again. I realize its a firefly, the first one I have seen this year! I try to show everybody, but it seems only to flash when only I am looking in its general direction. They tease me about my imaginary firefly, my little star fairy spreading pixie dust through the pine trees on the hill. I see it several more times before it fly away out of sight. Fireflies are purely summer creatures, symbols of warm evenings and endless summer fancies. Welcome back little fireflies!