Thursday, June 26, 2008

To Dance with Fireflies

“Are fireflies real?” Rachel queried as she stared out the window.
“Yes,” I responded, “Of course they are real.”
“Well. I’ve never seen one.” She trailed off as she munched her grilled cheese sandwich, probably remembering those fake “fireflies” in Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean ride that fooled her for exactly one ride. The second time through she informed us the fireflies were just twinkle lights on cords and the pirates were not real, just robots that say the same thing every time. (So much for being young enough for the magic of Disney AT AGE 5!)

My mind began to spin. She’s 9-1/2 years old and she has never seen a firefly! How could that be? We’re homeschooled! We study nature! We go outside everyday and mingle with nature (except today, of course, because we have choking smoke in the air). But wait … I’m … ummm … over ten and I’ve never seen a firefly!

As I faded further back in time, recalling books I’d read about growing up in the Old South (delightful tales of summer evenings, front porches, and glasses of lemonade; evenings laced with the giggles of children entertained by troupes of fireflies dancing in the sticky air ...), Rachel piped up with:

“Are they only in China? Or does Japan have them too?”
“What?” I stammered.
“China? Is that the only place that has fireflies?”
“Well … noooooo …” I stalled wondering where she could have gotten the idea that fireflies only existed in China or Japan. Maybe our fascination with other lands uncovered China’s Communistic form of government that restricts the comings and goings of its people and that would explain why she’s never seen a firefly – no visas for fireflies to come to California? Frankly, I really have no idea how she drew that conclusion, but I determined to correct it – for both our sakes.

“There are fireflies all over the world.” I shared, “Aunt Cindy in North Carolina has fireflies. Aunt Nanny in Mississippi has them, too. In fact, I believe even Aunt Renee in New Hampshire has fireflies.”
“So where did they go?” she asked pointedly.
“Huh?” I blinked.
“They weren’t in North Carolina or Mississippi when we visited,” she shot back.
“Well, sweetie, it was just too early in the season for fireflies. They come out on summer evenings and we were there in April.”
“Hmmmmm …” she let it drop.

But, I didn’t.

I keep a running list of “Things to Do” and have just added:

See a real firefly dance in the night air

So, watch out all you firefly-land dwellers, we may just land on your doorstep one sparkly summer’s eve. Got lemonade to go with that sticky air? We can call it a “research project,” but I prefer to call it simply wonderful. I dream of dancing by the light of fireflies beneath the fairy moon. Wanna come along? Bring your twirly skirt and meet me out in the moonlight of summer. : )

Rachel just informed me that the Jimmy Neutron playstation game requires you to go all around the world gathering parts (like machines and batteries and venus flytraps and other such stuff) to make a robot. While in China or Japan gathering parts, Jimmy saw fireflies. “Oh,” I concluded, “so the fireflies are used to help make robots?” Rachel snorted and laughed, “No, Mom! They’re just decoration.”

I give up! I’m going to go find a twirly skirt and dance by the light of the single Japanese lantern hanging in the old oak tree wintered over from last summer. (I'll just hold my breath and hope the toxic smoke doesn't find me.) ~Bye~ ; )


Rebecca said...

Welcome to blogdom, Debbie! Your blog is lovely and it doesn't take long to become overly enthused in blogging (to put it mildly!) :-)

I love the names of your cats and your gardens are enchanting! Oh to stroll through those lovely paths!

If ever you are PA way...we had BOATLOADS of fireflies out here. In fact, Friday night we've promised the children (upon several nights pleadings...) to stay up late and go firefly catching. We read a book. And like many homeschool families~ once you read a book on a subject, you're done for! ;-)

Deb said...

Debbie - I love your enchanted garden, boy has it grown since I was there 7 years ago! The cats are beautiful and I love their names. I plan to visit your site often! Miss you, Deb

freddie said...

well, fireflies are one of my favourite little animals. When I was a kid I alwasy thought they would get an electric shock if flying in the rain... i did not know about robot at that time...
PS: the music in your blog is absolutely fantastic. I was listening to mine with some classical music and yours turned up with music from nature and it's been marvellous!
God bless you

Kathy said...

Growing up in the midwest, we had lots of fireflies. I miss them.

imbeingheldhostage said...

Kentucky in June. We used to go to Ky every summer (all the way from Az in a Ford Rambler) and I got to chase fireflies. We called them "Lightning Bugs" though :-)

Flea said...

We even have fireflies here in Tulsa! It was one thing which won my then-ten year old's heart after moving from Orlando. He'd only seen them on vacation in the Smokies. or at my aunt's in Atlanta and he loved them.