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Lightening Bugs

February 29, 2012 ~ It was 69 Degs/F, today.  This is a repeat, with original comments ~ but the sentiment remains.

Careful – this might get  gets maudlin.

Due to an usually warm winter ~ The lightning bugs came out this week.

I saw my first firefly  of the season this week and stopped in my tracks.  I froze like a statue, stood and stared at that tiny light, mysteriously suspended above the sidewalk before my brain recognized it.  A split-second later, in some enigmatic way, memories of summers past, heralded by lightning bugs, flooded my mind.

Back in the day  – my day of fifty years ago – right before it got really dark, kids would run around trying to catch those little glowing, flying bugs to capture and keep in glass jars, hoping, that if you got enough of them, they’d light up your room, and you’d fall asleep staring at the flashing lights coming from a jar full of bugs.

At the first  lightning bug sighting of summer, I’d ask for an empty jar, glass in those days, and if it wasn’t empty, I’d beg my mom to empty it, please – usually a mayonnaise jar, wasn’t it?  She always did.

Then I’d find  my dad who would hammer a million holes in the jar top with a nail we hoped would be narrow enough to let the air in but not let the bugs out. It always worked.

If I were  lucky, I’d catch three or four lightning bugs, put them on my nightstand, in their new glass home I had filled with dirt and grass, and I’d fall asleep trying to count the flashes.  I always did.

Today,  childhood friends and neighbors are far away or passed on.  Mom and dad are both gone too.  A week goes by in the blink of an eye, summers seem longer, but years are shorter.  The worries of the world, our country,  the economy,  my age, health, and retirement all make for a restless sleep.

Fireflies  on my nightstand couldn’t hurt.

Yours ’til, Kate