There was something else I wanted to say, before I forgot all about it and my brain filed it away To be opened & remembered on a rainy afternoon in May, 2020.
I wanted to remind myself of how they flew. How they flashed. How at first, only the common fireflies were out, the ones we see in our yard all summer. The ones that flash indiscriminately in neon green. The ones that smell like grass and humidity and ozone. They came out first, and danced for only a little bit. Some boys whose families had spread out by the riverbank tried to catch them, which bothered Xander quite a bit. The rangers said not to catch them. Can we swim after the fireflies are done?
Soon it grew darker, and quieter, and the fireflies that we knew went away. We wondered if the person who used his flash scared them off, if that was the end, if we had hiked all the way from our campsite to sit in a beautiful clearing in what used to the be front yard of a 1915 mountain resort cabin…and if that was the end.
Of course it wasn’t the end. A blue one came out first, and flashed and held his eerie blue light on for five seconds without pulsing. He was soon joined by a green one, then a gold one, then they showed up by the fives, tens, dozens, twenties. Xander said, It’s like a play, that’s all. The not rare ones like the ones at our house come out first and now the rare ones come out to do their show.
And then more happened, all pretty, all magical. The hundred or so people all grew quiet, even the loud kids who were trying to catch the first fireflies became still and awed. Babies who had been crying, red-faced and mad stopped fussing all together. The stars dimmed a little to let the fireflies shine brighter. We were sitting in a small copse of trees, and the moonlight pierced the tree canopy above. Fireflies danced in and out of our little thatch of moonlight.
But I have to go now. I’ll tell you more about it later.