in the night
what is it
about those tiny bright
S P A R K S
of light . . .
*stunning fireflies in a mason jar shot by + courtesy of Brian Stidham. Check out more of his photography on instagram.
For three decades I have found myself pausing in wonder at the way summer seems to carry on. In my youth, it seems I was either having never-ending fun, bored, hot or just missed school—yes, I always LOVED going to school at every age. While it’s been fun finding summer games + lessons to share with my two spunky girls, summer does still carry on for me, perhaps because I am all-too-eager for the late-summer storms that bring autumn in it’s tailwinds, the color-changing leaves to crunch in, “trick or treats” echoing on the street + a fire glowing within.
It’s the fireflies, I have found, which have me stuck on summer nights here in Georgia. Growing up on the coast of South Carolina, they were mythical. I saw “lightening bugs” for the first time while visiting cousins in Charlotte, North Carolina + again, some years later in a mountain summer sunset of Pigeon Forge, Tennessee on family vacation. Both times I found myself utterly bewitched by their neon magic—what made them glow? + why did they tease that way with their darting flicks + flashes of light? + naturally, how many could I catch?
Do you find it poetic the way life is for some — first experiencing all the little joys, sorrows + hard to understand things for the first time as a child, ironically then getting to see the same things in the face of our own children? There aren’t adequate words for the way it makes me feel to see our girls’ faces light up at their finding of something new, exciting, happy or sad. Their curiousity is unlike any other of their qualities + it reminds me of the child within.
There are few things that make my soul dance like hearing past-bedtime footsteps in the hall coming to whisper excitedly. . .”Momma, the fireflies are out!”. This has been our thing this summer; my firstborn girl + I race back to her bedroom to post up on our knees at the top of her twin bed + stare until: “I see one!”
“I saw one too!”
”over THERE!”. Then I kiss her + she knows already what I have told her on these countless summer nights: “when the fireflies go to bed, you do too.” What a gift she is + what a lovely thing to count among our blessings, to be some of the lucky ones with a yard-full of these elusive, fairy-creatures putting on a dusk-time show. I ask you-what is better? Tell me your favorite things about summer- won’t you?
It’s my hope that you too may find the wonder in what remains of summer where you are— it’s often waiting for you right outside.