After another morning (and a sleep-in Saturday, no less!) of being woken by the repetitive, droning sound of a big truck’s backup beeping as its operator moved piles of dirt from one part of our street to another, I thought another reminder of urban serenity and simple magic was in order. Hope you enjoy reading about my experience as much as I did living it.
We arrived home last night just as it was starting to get dark. As I was filling my watering jug in preparation for giving my herbs and newly-acquired Martha Washington geraniums a much-needed drink, my husband said mysteriously that there was a surprise for me outside. He refused to tell me what it was, just that it would be a good surprise and that I would have to find it for myself.
Curiosity piqued, I headed out to the front porch, but saw nothing out of the ordinary. Puzzled, I asked him again what it was that I was supposed to find, but he still wouldn’t say… he just suggested that I finish watering my plants, then turn off the overhead light and enjoy the gorgeous evening on the front porch with him.
I puttered about for a few more minutes, tending to my thirsty plants, then brought snacks and a cool drink to our little table on the porch and sat down with my husband, who was still smiling mysteriously and steadfastly refusing to spill the beans. I was almost getting annoyed, wanting so badly to know what it was that he was talking about!
“Just watch,” he said.
Then… I saw it! For one magical moment, the tiniest flicker of phosphorescent light brightened the darkness in front of us. “Oh!” I exclaimed. “Is it fireflies?!” My husband smiled and nodded.
What a wonderful surprise!
Having lived in British Columbia all of my life, where fireflies are extremely uncommon (or, in most areas, simply not found at all), I had never seen a firefly. My husband, who was born and raised in Ontario, had seen them before and knew that I hadn’t. He also knew that I’d be delighted when I spied them for the first time… and he was right!
We sat outside for quite some time, increasingly enthralled and charmed each time another little bug twinkled and glowed as it flew through the night air, and I wondered, how can I have been alive for 45 years without having ever seen these enchanting little creatures? What else have I been missing in this wonderful world of ours?! I vowed to notice more, to travel more, to move beyond my own self-limiting borders more.
After awhile the other bugs – the bite-y kind – drove us back into the house.
But the magic had been accomplished.
(Originally posted in June, 2012.)