His sanguine spirit turns every firefly into a star. ~Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
On the night of the 4th, when the rest of the town was gathering in groups, laughing and drinking and relaxing in the grass in preparation for watching the explosions of color that would soon light up the night sky, I was on my way to work. Driving through the masses wandering the streets, I felt that oh-so-familiar hatred of people and crowds well up in me. I wanted nothing more than to turn around, drive home, and hide out in my little apartment for the remainder of the evening. Alone.
But it was then, as I glared my most impressive glares at the joyous folk in the grass, that I saw something that turned my mood around completely.
Firefly season is here, dear galleons, and there’s a subsequent swelling in my heart. I find myself looking forward to my evening drives to work, just for the opportunity to see their Morse code flickerings lining the street.
As I’ve told you before, I adore fireflies. And while I hold a deep, irrational fear of insects and crawly creatures, fireflies are the exception. I will let them crawl on me, I will cup them in my palms and let them wander over my fingers, I will walk through the grass and let them brush my legs as I pass. They don’t evoke in me the same fight-or-flight (…mostly flight) response as other tiny, leggy beasties.
They are almost sacred to me (insomuch that anything is really sacred in my mind). Like chips of stars fallen to earth, they sprinkle the late summer grass with constellations. I can’t help but be entranced by their presence, by the shifting patterns dancing in the twilight.
When I was a child, growing up in Wyoming, I had never seen a firefly. I’ve never caught them and put them in jars like so many children have. And, while I’m 23 years old now, I think that I would enjoy nothing more than to fill a handful of Mason jars with those luminescent wonders and scatter them about my apartment.
If what we think of as magic were the fifth fundamental force of the universe, fireflies would be the carrier particles. I hope I never become so jaded that I cannot feel pure and cleansing awe at the sight of those miniature solar systems winking in and out of the summer grass.