Last night I was sitting on my front steps, drinking a Snapple and watching the lightning bugs flitter around my front yard. I don’t remember the last time I did that, but as I sat there, I drifted down memory lane and thought about how many times as a kid I used to just sit and watch the fireflies dancing in my parents’ yard.
We used to live way out in the country when I was really young. I was probably 6 or 7 and our house sat up on a hill and down on one side was woods and streams and fields. I remember climbing down that hill and letting my imagination go wild! There was a tree limb that I would swing on and that was always my “portal” to this other land where there were trolls and goblins and all kinds of mythical creatures. I remember making maps and creating a place where I could go just to play and imagine living in a fantasy land. I used to pretend that the fireflies were fairies and were good creatures. I would collect them in a jar and watch them light up. Eventually I always let them free to roam again.
Unfortunately we moved away and I grew up. At our new home, we lived next to a river and our house had this big front porch. My Dad hooked us up with a swing on the porch and my Mom would sit out there from time to time. I remember I used to go out there after dark. The only distraction was an occassional car passing by. Fireflies would be everywhere! And the stars would be bright and beautiful. Living in the country definately had its advantages! My bedroom was upstairs and I would climb out and sit on the roof and watch the stars and the lightning bugs, headphones on, listening to my cassette player. I would sit out there for what seemed like hours.
As I got a little bit older, my parents allowed me to ride my bike about 3 miles into town to play basketball in the summer. I would leave around 5pm or so and meet some buddies at the square. We’d play until 9 or 10 and then I would have to ride my bike back. I remember it was really cool riding near the river, the fireflies and the moon lit the way. I would have to cross a bridge and I would always stop to look at the moon over the river. I still remember that moon shimmering in the water and the fireflies dancing along the riverbank.
Now I don’t see the fireflies that much. Work and kids and pressures take away the joy of sitting on the front porch and watching them dance. You can’t see the moon and stars in the city. Most of the time, it’s just hazy and hot. But last night I took some time and watched the fireflies dance again, and it brought back memories. Summer nights are good for reminiscing and drinking Snapple. And watching fireflies.
I think tonight I’ll let Christopher stay up and we’ll go catch us some fireflies. Maybe he’ll see what I used to see…and he’ll remember.