Fireflies

Last night I wandered out with a glass of wine after an evening of rain. Lightning was still flashing to the south. The ground was wet, the trees were still dripping…Yet as I stood there in my backyard what did I see? Fireflies. just a couple wandering around a couple of acres looking for love. Judging by the ground they were covering, it was in all the wrong places. But just seeing them brought back memories. Memories of the first year we moved to this place.

It was fall, not spring when we  first arrive on this three acres. Sherry and I were sitting out back on the steps one evening waiting for the day to cool down. Life hadn’t been very comforting to us at that point. You could even say we had hit a rough spot in the road. Moving into this house was a step down from the home we had built for us. But things change and life goes on. And on that evening we were sitting there watching the day come to an end and the night grab hold of the end. And as we sat, what should we see?

It was a sight like none I had ever seen before. Thousands and thousands of fireflies began to blink in the woods along the bayou. They started at ground level, but within a short while they were scattered from the ground to the tops of all of the trees. Never in my life until that night had I seen so many lightning bugs in one place. It was as if someone had strung Christmas lights through all of the trees in sight…What started as just another evening took on the semblance of magic.

It would be a lot of years before I would be impressed by another display of natures ability to awe with cold light. It was our second trip to the Blue Ridge Mountains on a June evening that I stepped out into the road on Nettles Knob that I was struck speechless. This time it was a half a mile of synchronized flashing by millions of fireflies. The thing that really amazed me was the way the flashes moved in a wave down the mountain…Wave after wave after wave, flashing over and over again…I stood out there for hours as the fireflies worked their way higher into the trees. That was 2004, nothing has come close to that June night in the years since. But still I hold out hope…

I think I’ll have to pour another glass tonight and wander out to see if the two fireflies I saw last night are joined by any more tonight…Care to join me?

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