Sunday, May 28, 2017

5/29/17—Showing Up Early

I'm that person who tends to show up early for everything. And for the past week or so, I've spent a few choice moments with my counterpart in the firefly kingdom. 

I have been anxiously awaiting the fireflies this year because I've set up some really cool solar lights in my yard that fade between different colors. Each year when the fireflies show up, there are a few nights when it's absolutely magical. There will be countless numbers of them dotting the grass and sky, blinking on and off, like tiny white Christmas lights in the summer twilight. Combine that with my cool solar lights and one's mind might blow right out of their head from all the awesomeness.

The fireflies haven't arrived en masse yet, but there has been one guy around for at least a week. OK, maybe it's not the same one. But maybe it is. Both I and my neighbor have seen him. They have nice, thick grass over there, so their yard, in particular, puts on quite a show. 

Anyway, when I saw the early arriver last night, it just felt so magical. It flew very fast and blinked kind of slow, so you never knew where you'd see him next. At one point, he seemed to be flying right at me to the point I was nervous that the next time he'd blink he'd be right in front of my eyes and startle me. 

I never realized how special fireflies were until I made a post on Facebook about them a couple years back and lots of people commented that they miss seeing them or had never seen them at all! They like heat and humidity, lots of trees, and they also like sources of water. My woodsy neighborhood is about a half mile from the river, as the firefly flies, and the DC area is famous for its sticky summers. 

Apparently, you don't see them anywhere west of Kansas in the US. The furthest west I've lived just happens to be Kansas City. And if they didn't have them in other states I've lived in, I just may not have noticed. I thought they had them everywhere. 

Fireflies are said to bring illumination and awareness of the light within. That's kind of fitting for the past few weeks. I've been seeing some old things in new ways. I'm more at peace. And this year, in particular, I've moved away from some toxic people and situations in my life. I'm seeing many things more clearly. I'm seeing the dramas I've been caught up in for 54 years for what they are. And I'm starting to see my way out.

I almost feel like I can safely exhale. Though even as I type those words, I'm afraid I'm going to jinx them. It feels like—and actually may be—years since I've been able to say that. 

I think of my friends and see many of them bracing against tides real or imagined. And I see the same in my fellow countrymen, wondering what is going to happen next and what it will mean. And as I glance around the world, I can imagine many are in a similar, but nonetheless different, breath-holding place.

With as introspective as I am, my mind is always on something that needs to be done or something within me that needs to change. And I forget about just enjoying life's simple pleasures...a morning spent with a cup of coffee in the back yard, a long hot shower, a silent snuggle with one of my fur babies or a night spent watching the lights twinkle. These are the things I've been doing lately. And before I do them, I try to take all my worries and cares and to-dos and lock them away for safe keeping in a vault somewhere in my head. And when they poke out, I poke them back in and save them for later. 

I can't believe we're here just to worry and rush about and preoccupy ourselves. It seems like doing that is a waste of a perfectly good opportunity to live. Maybe my firefly friend showed up early to enjoy the quiet time before all the business of mating occurs—to really live before he dies. Maybe he showed up to teach me how to do the same.