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Friday, November 25, 2011

The woods are sparkling tonight!

“The woods are sparkling tonight!” said Carol as we drove into our front yard and I parked the car beneath the over-hanging trees.

I loved that phrase and wanted to be sure I remembered it so I could use it later in some sort of written communication. She was talking about the abundance of fireflies that seemed to fill the woods on the tree-covered dunes that encircle our home. They seemed to be everywhere. This year they seem to be much more numerous than in recent years. They were so thick they reminded each of us of nights of our separate childhoods, mine in Southeast Missouri and hers in Northern Indiana. 

In both places we grew up with the amazing experience of seeing lightning bugs sparkling all around us any evening we were outside at dusk. They were not only beautiful, but harmless and probably beneficial, although I have always thought of them as being there mostly for my personal enjoyment. They were easy to catch and would continue to blink their phosphorescent lights on my fingers as they crawled out of my hand—closed, but not so tight as to harm them.

So Carol’s phrase, which so beautifully described what we saw, transported each of us to the private places of our separate childhoods. With memories that were remarkably similar even though almost 500 miles apart, we sat for a moment in the car and watched this beauty created by God that has blessed human life with joy over eons of time and throughout the Midwest. 

Why did God create fireflies? Why here but not everywhere? What makes them glow and why do they blink? I don’t have a clue as to the answer to any of these questions. I’m sure someone who studies bugs could tell me where they fit into the environment. But I’ll still feel like they were made just for our enjoyment.

I'm Rick Blumenberg . . . and that's My View from Tanner Creek.

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