Get Outside and Don’t Miss the Fireflies

I know it’s summer because I keep finding myself outside beneath the nighttime sky, walking alongside my wife, trying to stumble along with her elegant strides. And I see the fireflies. The sky grows dim and there they are, flittering along the edges of everything.

We love fireflies. Of course we do.

My kids will stop goofing around to stand silent, watching for the little dancing lights popping on and off here and there. By those lilacs. By that doorstep. Up in that tree.

They appear from behind some black curtain, showing themselves for only a moment before vanishing again. A tiny magic act.

Watch closely now…poof.

We know exactly how this trick works. It’s a chemical reaction in the bugs’ bellies, causing a luminous reaction in our hearts, from where all the best magic comes.

It’s science. Science that’s as good as or better than magic. So why don’t we just call it magic? Let’s do it. Let’s call fireflies magic. We’ve studied them, we understand them, and we can explain them in a diagram, but they’re still every bit as amazing. And we can call them magic if we want to.

This is a magic of the most basic kind. A magic of the most hopeful kind. A small wonder, out there in the summer dark.

A little bit of light winking back at us.