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The Eclectic Pen - Fireflies, Childhood, and Growing Up

By: Michelle A. (wordsmith)  
Date Submitted: 3/6/2007
Genre: Nature & Ecology » Nature Writing & Essays
Words: 262

  I was walking to my car after class last night, and there were thousands of fireflies on campus.

I got to thinking about them.

Remember when you were a kid, and it was so exciting to catch a firefly? We put them in mayonnaise jars with holes punched through the lids. We'd lay in bed and watch them in there as we fell asleep. There's something about fireflies that inspires dreaming.

Then I got to thinking about the flip side. Remember in the morning when you woke up and you had a jar full of black bugs? Somehow, overnight, the magic escaped through those nail-punched holes. Could these creepy crawly things TRULY be those magical floating lights from the night before?

Somehow little girls who cry "get it off me, get it off me" about gnats and houseflies and such don't mind catching fireflies at night. There's something magical about the idea of the floating glow. The yellow glow of now-it's-there-now-it's-gone. Trying to capture that little bit of wonder. The amazement of a living being emitting light.

We, as children, are sure that lightning bugs are created just for us - for our fascination. We are willing to hold an insect in order to imagine fairies and mystical, magical things.

Sometimes, as grown-ups, we forget the magic of that little insect. Just like hijacked mayonnaise jars, we let the magic escape through the little holes we punch in our lives.

But, just for a moment or two last evening, I was an enchanted little girl again.

The Eclectic Pen » All Stories by Michelle A. (wordsmith)

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Comments 1 to 7 of 7
IONE L. (zaneygraylady) - 3/6/2007 3:28 PM ET
This was beautiful. I still see the magic. I think most poets do.
sunshinems - - 3/7/2007 11:37 AM ET
Lovely! thanks for the memories.....we are all magical... and can see magic when we are children once more.
Jacqulyn S. (jacqulyn) - 3/8/2007 9:21 AM ET
Nice job. Great memories too. :)
Nick and Jamie B. - 3/12/2007 12:51 AM ET
I like this alot. I found myself thinking how much this totally relates to me (and probably everyone else LOL). I wrote a neat blog entry once that had to do with finding the magic in our lives, that just because we are adults there is still magic to be found in the world. Maybe I should post it here... Thanks for giving me something to read to make me smile!
Marta J. (booksnob) - 3/14/2007 10:09 PM ET
I think that fireflies elicit nostalgia in all of us. You certainly dredged up some lovely memories. Thank you!
Lynn B. (seraphina) - 3/26/2007 8:59 PM ET
beautiful and true.
Lisa C. (IrishHillbilly) - 4/27/2007 12:55 PM ET
Very's amazing thinking how so many of us as children were fascinated by this summer activity. Thanks for sharing this here!
Comments 1 to 7 of 7