There is something magical about a summer night at dusk when the fireflies appear and light up the evening sky. So many moments of laughter, silliness and child-like faith twirled in my head as the fireflies came to life last weekend in the Smoky Mountains and ushered in memories of me and my sister, with an equally enthused father, chasing these bright bugs in the hayfield across from our Virginia home.
I must admit that I call these insects both lightning bugs and fireflies. They are one in the same and equally as exciting. Their ethereal beauty was often destroyed by our youthful curiosity as we removed their light to provide glow in the dark earrings or accessories to our evening ensembles. Daddy taught us that trick, but now I prefer to just sit and watch them slowly appear at twilight. We also were very upset one summer to find out these bugs cannot permanently reside in a jar on my bedroom nightstand, nor are they much fun in the daytime.
Nevertheless, fireflies or lightning bugs conjure up thoughts of nothing but being a child in a hot southern summer. They are extremely hard to catch, but provide moments of joy chasing the light in the sky.
“What is life? Is it the flash of a firefly at night” (Crowfoot). Go chase a few fireflies this summer, and do not miss the flash of opportunity. You just might remember how fun it is to laugh.