Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Wednesday's Words for July 10, 2019

The most amazing thing happened Sunday night. It had been a very hot and humid weekend, and I’d spent most of it inside the house. There’s no sense in my going out, even on the porch, when it’s like that. It’s not good for my arthritis and being in the heat too long’s not good for my heart. I know I’ve written in these essays more than once I’ve become a bit of a hermit of late. And while I am completely aware of that fact, I am also fine with it.

Life is what you make it, and contrary to the way things were forty or even thirty years ago, a person who more or less stays inside for health considerations is no longer “shut in”. Thanks to the internet, one can keep their mind and their fingers occupied even if their body is somewhat at rest. Life changes, and what you used to love to do, maybe you can’t do any longer. Instead of thinking on that, I choose to find new things that I love to do. But I digress.

Sunday evening, around twilight, the heat had broken, and it was at that perfect temperature outside—not too hot, and not too cool/breezy or damp, that a visit to the porch was definitely in order. And made even more special when, after inviting me out to join him, my husband said, very quietly, “watch the lawn across the street.” I did…and then I saw it! But not just it, I saw them. There had to be ten or even twenty of them.


I know my friends in the U.S. tend to call them “lightning bugs” but we always called them fireflies. And I hadn’t seen any in years. Years! While I sat there and took them in, I felt connected once more to my childhood. I used to love to sit out at night, on our little piece of rural Ontario, and watch as the light show began each twilight in the early summer. The fireflies were just act one of my evening entertainment. The twinkling off and on was more attractive to me than city lights. In the distance, either across the road or behind us, which were both wooded tracks, the sound of the whip-poor-wills could often be heard. They provided the music, and the fireflies danced!

In my child-memory, those two natural phenomena—the bird with the onomatopoeic name and the fireflies—were a matched set.

I haven’t heard any whip-poor-wills in years, either. Those, I imagine, I will have to be in a rural setting—and at night—to hear. But I had wondered if the fireflies were no longer in our area, because I hadn’t seen them in so very long.

I don’t often sit out at night, and certainly not the way I used to as a child, and a teen, and again as a young, very busy mother of three. The outside used to be my sanctuary, my “me space” where I could be alone, surrounded only by the sights and sounds of nature. A place to breathe, to rest, to regain some of the equilibrium that would have been leeched out of me during the hours of the day just ended.

As a young girl, I would sometimes take a towel and get up on the hood of my mother’s car—a sturdy Plymouth. Yes, this was in the days when cars were made of steel. You see, the hood, then the windshield provided a solid “chaise lounge” at just the perfect angle. I could then stargaze to my heart’s content. The stars, the awesomeness of the milky way, and the occasional shooting star or aura borealis, that would be act two of my evening viewing pleasure. Oh, there were a few mosquitoes in those days, but we didn’t have any standing water close by, so their breeding grounds weren’t near us. There were a few, but not many. And they weren’t infamous, in those days, for carrying the diseases they do now.

It would be only in the aftermath of a couple of rainy days that I’d be chased inside by the biting little buggers.

Now that I know it’s possible to see fireflies again, I’ll take a couple more twilight vigils and see if I can. And if the bugs are too bad out, I’ll try viewing them from the inside of my car, which is parked right in front of my house.

I think that would be one sure way of bringing the past and the present together. Sometimes life gives you little full circles—if you are aware and keep your eyes open for them.

Blessings abound.


No comments: