(this is a post I wanted to share again since I've been watching lightening bugs the last few nights)
Wednesday, June 29, 2011
Yes, Virginia, there are lightening bugs in ConnecticutI've just been watching Lightening Bugs--fire flies--in our neighbor's yard. So I decided to reprise the fourth most viewed post of mine ever.
They are blinking, blinking, blinking.
They're out there tonight--the fireflies--in the mulberry tree just beyond our fence where the groundhogs come in the late summer to eat mulberries that have fermented and make them drunk. A drunk groundhog is a wonder to behold!
And the lightening bugs are in our yard as well. I sat and watched them blink for 20 minutes tonight.
My dear friend, Harriet, wrote me an email about lightening bugs after my blog about them. If I'm more adroit at technology than I think I am, I'm going to put that email here.
Jim, I just read your blog and have my own firefly story. Before we went to Maine, before 6/20, one of those nights of powerful thunderstorms, I was awakened at 10PM and then again at 2AM by flashes of lightning followed by cracks of thunder - the kind that make me shoot out of bed - and pounding rain. And then at 4:30AM there was just lightning, silent. The silence and light was profound. I kept waiting for sound. I couldn't quite believe in heat lightning in June, so I got out of bed and looked out the window. There I could see the sky, filled with silent lightning bursts. And under it, our meadow, filled with lightning bugs (as we call them) or fireflies, flashing in response. I've never seen anything like it. I can't remember the last time I saw a lightning bug. And then your blog. Is this, too, part of global warming? Are you and I being transported back to the warmer climes of our youth, West Virginia and Texas? Well, if it means lightning bugs, the future won't be all bad. I did do it, by gum.... So the lightening bugs are blinking, as we are, you and I. Blinking and flashing and living. You and I. Here's the thing, I've been thinking about a poem I wrote 4 years ago or so. I used to leave St. John's and go visit folks in the hospital or nursing home or their own home on my way to my home. Somehow the blinking of the fireflies has reminded me of that. So, I'll try, once more to be more media savvy than I think I am and share it with you.
Fireflies, more the pity, live only a fraction of a second to the time
that we humans live. They will be gone from the mulberry tree and my
back yard in a few weeks, never to be seen again. But the years and
years we live are, in a profound way, only a few blinks, a few flares, a
few flashes in the economy of the universe. We should live them well
and appreciate each moment. Really.
One of the unexpected blessings of having been a priest for so long is the moments, the flashes, I've gotten to spend with 'the holy ones', those about to pass on from this life.
Hey, if you woke up this morning you're ahead of a lot of folks. Don't waste the moment.
(I told Harriet and she agreed, that we would have been blessed beyond measure to have walked down in that meadow while the silent lightening lit the sky to be with the fire-flies, to have them hover around us, light on our arms, in our hair, on our clothes, be one with them....flashing, blinking, sharing their flares of light. Magic.)
(What isn't here is one of my worst memories from childhood--catching fireflies and putting them in a jar and letting them die.
I regret that more than most anything I've ever done.
My own fault, my most grievous fault. I am profoundly sorry for doing that.)