Photo Credit: www.strangesounds.org
Catching lightnin’ bugs (as we called them in Georgia) was a grand part of our summers growing up. We never got tired of it. Sometimes, mom would say “Just enjoy them”, and we put the jars away. My brothers and I would play outside in the hot sticky evenings. We played until it was too dark to see how to run. Often, we would just follow the lightning bugs as they flashed signals to each other. Male seeking female, mating on their minds.
As children, we were mesmerized by them because they seemed to not exist until those few hours every night. From dusk until deep dark, they flew, and we were enchanted with them. We didn’t notice mosquito bites then, nor the heat.
Called in from the yard at last, we would take turns washing up in our one bathroom in those days. I never understood how that line of dirt made its way around our necks. Or how filthy feet could get from chasing around the yard with no shoes. Summer nights, after long hours of play, were filled with deep sleep for us as brothers and sister, growing up with shared life. Dreaming of fireflies darting up from the grass, flitting through the night sky, to a mysterious mate.
Our children spent most of their growing up years in the Africa bordering the Sahara. No lightning bugs there. Summer vacations back in the US were made all the more magical by these evening lightshows.
I just recently found out that lightning bugs were beetles. Beetles in Africa are big and shiny black and not for play in our family. They are right up there with the mammoth flying roaches, in terms of creepiness. Fortunately, lightning bugs, in the dazzling loveliness of their glow, make them an altogether different creature…almost on the order of fairies, rather than insects.
Summer, like the season of lightning bugs, never seems long enough. So we savor it. From indoors and out. I am thankful for a yard lit up at night by these little showmen. Every place we have ever lived had its own loveliness…for now, in Virginia, this is part of what we celebrate of God’s creation…in our back yard. You are welcome.
Photo Credit: www.robindance.me
Light in play
End of day
They blink and dance
One more spark
And that’s your chance
Adorn the night
Our delight by Robin Dance*
Photo Credit: thaynesworld.com