Saturday, April 12th, 2008 • 4 Comments on Wishing on a Firefly
When I was a kid, I thought fireflies (or lightning bugs) were myths, like unicorns and dragons. Seriously. You see, I grew up in south Florida and I never saw a firefly. As far as I know, they don’t live in south Florida. I never saw snow until I was eighteen, but for some reason, I believed it was real. Not so the little firefly. The first time I saw a firefly was in Tennessee after Jay and I had gotten engaged and I’d gone to meet his family. I saw these flashing lights in the trees and wondered aloud what they were. He probably thought I was nuts, since I was 23 years old and certainly old enough to know fireflies were real. (He married me anyway.) I was as delighted to see my first firefly as I was to see my first snowfall. How awesome to watch these tiny little bugs flash-flash-flashing against the dark night sky.
Each year since then—because since getting married I have always lived where there are fireflies—I make a wish on the first firefly of the year. Kind of like shooting stars, I suppose—which is what I sometimes think I’m seeing out of the corner of my eye. I still marvel at them and when one gets in the house, I make sure to catch it and release it outside, watching it flash in my hand the entire time. (I have a catch-and-release philosophy for all bugs that get in the house, except ants and roaches, but none mesmerize me like the firefly.)
I saw my first firefly of the year about half an hour ago and I made my wish. It’s a smaller wish than wishing on a star. After all, fireflies are so much smaller than shooting stars, but it was a nice wish.
I believe in fireflies and I believe wishes can come true.