Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Mom's Lifelong Dream Realized

Ever since I first read of fireflies in a book, I wanted to see if they were real. When I realized my dream of weeks in the Pennsylvania countryside would actually materialize, one of the first things I did was get online and see if fireflies live here. They do.

I never thought to look for them the first few nights we were here--I was too busy setting up house and figuring out logistics. But when it did occur to me to look for them, the beautiful little bugs were nowhere to be seen. I was crushed.

One night last week, I was awakened around 1230 am and I couldn't go back to sleep. As I gazed out the window, I saw a satellite's flickering light through the tree branches. Funny thing--the satellite moved not farther up in the sky, but it moved closer to the ground. And then there were dozens of lights, glimmering all through the pasture.

I was totally enamored by their glittering white lights, and even though it was almost 1 am, I crawled to the window and just watched. For almost thirty minutes I knelt on that hard floor, hardly believing that I was living a childhood dream.

I'm sure fireflies are one of the initial motivators behind fairy myths, because I could barely believe my eyes when I observed their appearance then disappearance then reappearance somewhere farther away. It was truly magical.

Every night since, we've tried to catch fireflies. Most of the time, the little buggers end up squished on their way into the net cages.

But tonight--we were successful. More than thirty fireflies are flickering their way into my kids' memories as they drift off to sleep tonight.

And I will watch their enchanted dance out my own window as I go to sleep, knowing that my nights with this bewitching sight are coming to a close.

I will never forget tonight.


  1. Aren't they just beautiful? I saw my first fireflies when we went to Ohio. Magical. I was absolutely enthralled. How I wish we had them here!

  2. I'm so glad you got to see them. They are as magical to us Arizonans as horny toads are to... Never mind

  3. That was a beautiful post, as someone who grew up in Ohio, and now lives in Indiana, I love fireflys, but will admit I have taken them for granted, not anymore. Thank you for opening my eyes again to these magical creatures! Sue

  4. I'm with the Old Rusty Bucket...
    I live in Ohio and take them for granted too. I just watched them for the first time the other night thinking as a child I'd fill my mason jar nightly to have a nightlight. I'm glad you had that beautiful experience.

  5. I have always wanted to see fireflies too. My husband went on a mission to Penn. and still talks about them.

  6. Magical, Jen, just magical. I love how you express your delight!

  7. One of my favorite childhood memories - living in the Indiana country side - filling up a glass jar and drifting off to sleep with the magical night light. I'm so glad you and your kids were able to enjoy such a very NON Arizona thrill.

  8. So glad you guys were able to experience this! In pennsylvania people call them lightning bugs. I have always assumed everyone has those little bugs that come out as it starts to get dark. Kids never get tired of catching them!

  9. So happy you got to experience them. They are absolutely wonderful, that's for sure.

  10. I would love to see fireflies. My hubby grew up with them in Illinois. He says they are way more scarce than they used to be, which is too bad.

    Glad you had a chance to see them!


  11. One of my life goals is to see a firefly for real.
    Lucky you!

  12. reminds me of our trips to iowa every summer when i was a kid:) we let one go inside my grandma's kitchen one year. she was NOT pleased. haha