I’m in Tennessee for a couple of weeks visiting friends who have a summer home here. Tonight, after we took the dogs for their evening stroll, as we returned to the house a firefly landed on my hand. My friend took the dogs inside so that I could ‘have a moment’ without disturbing my new friend at rest. It wasn’t even close to twilight, so he wasn’t ready to light up, so as he rested on the back of my hand, I sang to him a little song about the evening to which we both looked forward. You know… that old favorite from Styx… “Light up everybody! Join us in this celebration. Light up and be happy! Sweet, sweet sound will fill the air.” I bet you didn’t know that was a song about fireflies on a summer night, did you? Ha!
I just love these moments, getting to connect with nature. It’s not something I often do back home. From where I sit now, I can hear traffic and neighbors coming and going, but there is also the sound of wind in the trees, crickets chirping, birds singing, and cicadas humming. I find myself, at times, resenting the obnoxious sound of vehicles passing on the highway nearby, as it feels like such an insult to the orchestra that is playing a temporary tune. Did I mention that we are also near an airport? Sigh… but eventually I am able to refocus on the sounds of nature, and the volume of wind chimes and insect instrumentals rises to the forefront. Encore!, I say.
As I glance into the yard, I can see the fireflies finally at play. They lift from grass and tree branch with a spark of light that reminds me of the sparks that pop forth from a blazing fire… rising upward and fading away. It makes me wonder if they are playing a game of ‘ghost in the graveyard’ together. “Over here!” “No, over here!”, they say as their light teases one to follow. But then they are gone, and another flash of light appears in the periphery, and you turn your head… but… gone again. It looks like enormous fun, and yet we are both excluded from the game, and delighted to bear witness.
I alternately enjoy these moments of solitude and wish to be sharing them with others. So, here I am… inviting you into my solitary moment, so grateful you could join me. I imagine that car in the distance is yours, winding up the hill and onto our street. That you walk through the grass and open the gate, then pull out a chair and join me for this exclusive performance of the most beautiful concerto to be heard by human ears. We reach across the table and hold hands for a moment, breathing deeply of the gratitude for this sacred moment upon the earth… together. From this view, we can see that everything really will be okay. I promise.