This Kansas summer is a good year for fireflies. Or lightning bugs, as we grew up calling them.
Take a stroll as twilight settles over the land and you’ll see their twinkling lights floating here and there.
Better yet, walk up The Old Farm Road on campus, or down any road in the country which look out on meadows and deserted fields, and you’ll be sure to see glowing little flashes, dancing against their dark backdrop.
This nature journal entry you are looking at was made almost exactly two years ago, a grand year for fireflies. My friends and I went on walks just to watch and even catch them.
As little kids we would catch the lightning bugs. The dream was to fill a whole jar with so many that the jar would blink and glow like a lantern! We never did catch quite that many, but we came pretty close…
I also remember being so fascinated with the phosphorescence in their little abdomens, that we would smash the poor bugs and drag them along the sidewalk just to see how long the phosphorescence would last.
I don’t remember how long it endured, probably over 30 seconds, but I probably would forego double checking that now!
Did you know that even the ocean holds an aquatics sort of lightning bug/fire fly? While we were at the beach last year, a little sad that it was all dark, we started noticing that as the waves crashed and receded around our feet, the sand glowed with little lights just like lightning bugs! They ended up being some little aquatic bugs or crustaceans of sorts, which I still need to research!
As I walked home this evening, down Mission Street, onto campus, and looked across the Quad, I noticed the lightning bugs and I thought of the last couple posts I’ve written, as well as this nature journal entry.
What connection could be made between fireflies and seeing more deeply into nature?
It occurred to me that without the darkness, we would not marvel at the light!
Those lightning bugs aren’t too attractive in the daytime. But they certainly bring a lot of beauty and joy to the our eyes when they’re shining out their lights from out their little bums!
In many ways, it seems like that’s how God works with his chosen ones. He picks out the least amongst us.
No one would think that lightning bug in the daytime would be much to look at. God works in hidden ways. It’s only when everything is obscured in the death of night, do those fireflies really show their splendor.
Only when things are at their darkest moment, do those little lights, like Mary, Joseph, Jesus, Joan of Arc, Maximilian Kolbe, shine.
It’s also that way with heroes. Would heroes shine out if there were no darkness?
Here’s to perseverance and plugging away in the light, with The Light, that we may be a light in the darkness, just like these humble little fireflies!
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By the way, do you call them fire flies? Or lightning bugs? Please leave a comment below!
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