June 22, 2007

Fireflies


I've said it before, and I'll say it again: I really do love the summers in the mid-atlantic. I suppose a year in Florida kicked up my humidity tolerance--because not even that really bothers me anymore. I remember the feeling I had when I went to Niagra Falls in July of 2004--I was so surprised at how lush and green the area around the falls were. I chalked it up to the excessive moisture because of the falls, but it turns out that's how all of Pennsylvania, and upstate New York looks in the height of summer. The grass is thick and soft, the trees are full, and the native plants are lush. Instead of the solitary, thorny rose, we have honeysuckle, and almost florescent blue hydrangeas, and glorious, stalwart day lillies--and they all grow like weeds. I never thought summer could be so rich--but with the humidity, and the summer thunderstorms, there is enough mositure in the air to have a truly thriving flora.

The best thing, by far, is the firefly. Our backyard is pretty much wild, with tall grasses, and clover, and probably some poison ivy. Last night I came back from running errands at about 8:15. The sun had gone below the horizon, but it was still very light out, and the fireflies were just starting their little dance. I sat for a while, said a Chaplet, and went inside after my second mosquito bite. Tonight, I put on the bug block, and brought my computer down to listen to some folk songs, and watch the fireflies play.

It's 10:00 now, and they are still at it. Just when you think they are finally done, you see a flash, and then another. I don't know what they remind me of--but they really are magical. They only light when they are going upward, but then they go sideways and backwards, so that it is impossible to follow just one. The ones that have found mates settle in the tall grass, and light up and then slowly fade again. Others keep flying higher and higer till the dance has moved to the tree-tops. I don't know what happens to them all the way up there, or if they ever come down.

It occoured to me, though, that God knows everyone of these little creatures. He knows every one in the yard (and I can't even count them!), and every one in the entire city, in the entire state, in the whole world. That thought made me want to cry--if all of them, then also all of us! What a happy thought!


(I'm not even going to try to put up a photo of this: nothing will do it justice. But it does remind me of this great painting.)
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Tonight is the shortest night of the year. After this, these many long long evenings will shorten. But when I get back from Canada, I am buying a firepit, so that we can have company in the evenings. Perhaps a folk song, or a story read by the fire light. And definately, we'll turn our chairs away form the fire, and watch that dazzling show.

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Update: The photo is of a firefly that got into the house somehow. I didn't notice it until I went to bed--turning out all the lights, I saw it flashing by the radiator. Poor thing...

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