Keith and I were in North Carolina for our anniversary the first part of July. We celebrated 8 years of wedded bliss. Well, mostly bliss. But that is for another day. Anyway, I saw fireflies for the first time there. My gosh what a magical treat that was!
Keith and I would wait until twilight and then stand in awe watching these little bugs sparkle around the grass and in the trees. It was like the stars came down to earth just to delight us. It didn’t last long, and when it was over, I wanted more.
I grew up in Colorado where I never saw them. It seems like those insects like thick foliage and humidity. It’s pretty dry here in Colorado, so instead of delightful fireflies, we have Miller moths. Not an equal comparison.
I have been thinking about the fireflies now that we’re back home and I wish I could see them again. That feeling of magic and wonderment that I had as a kid has been lost to me for a long time. I remember being in such a huge hurry to grow up that I’m not sure that I appreciated things. Or maybe I did but didn’t have the language to express it. I’m not sure. For me, growing up was something you just had to get through. As an adult, I have been so caught up with keeping my head above water, and living, I have overlooked so much. I haven’t been noticing the joy that the world has to share.
But seeing things through a different lens has made a difference for me. I am lucky to be where I am at this moment and know it could all be gone tomorrow. I know how quickly life can change.
A couple of years ago Keith and I started a gratitude practice. We would remember one thing we were grateful for and talk about it at dinner. It was a simple way for us to be reminded to slow down and see the world differently. Keith would often point out how pretty the sky was or the contours of the rocks in a beautiful landscape. It forced us to slow down and notice things. I would be grateful for the more pragmatic things of the day, ice cubes for my water, or a cool breeze on a hot day. Both directions fed our gratitude.
As Keith and I get older, we are more aware of our mortality. Time really does fly by as you get older. I mean really, wasn’t it just New Years? And as I think about that, spending time with those bright little fireflies was time well spent. Maybe those few minutes spent with the fireflies was a reminder for us of the transient time we spend here. A beautiful reminder to notice the world around me and to be grateful for them.
Or maybe it was just a delightful treat. I’ll take it either way.