Friday, July 10, 2009


It's early evening the day before Fourth of July. The house is full of family who've gathered to celebrate the holiday together the following evening. Several conversations are going on, despite frequent distractions caused by the youngest family member, Zachary, who is not yet two. From his point of view, everyone is there to play with him, and he has very little concern for any conversation they may be trying to have. Grandpa Mark, on the other hand, is excited for dusk when the fireflies appear. He reminds everyone, every couple minutes or so, that the fireflies will be out soon.

It's finally getting to be twilight, and we move outside. We can see fireflies blinking in the bushes. Zachary thoroughly enjoys the freedom he's allowed in the backyard. Auntie Beth and Cameron emerge from the house with plastic containers for catching the fireflies. Grandpa Mark is content to simply watch the fireflies. He wonders aloud why there aren't any fireflies in his homestate of California. "Perhaps someone should smuggle a couple in and see if they'll make it," he suggests, not for the first time. But no one offers to lead the experiment.
The plastic containers now have some inhabitants, and Auntie Beth and Cameron are eager to show them to Zachary. "Here Zachary! Look! See inside? Here, hold out your hand. Open your hand. Now hold still. Hold still. There, see? Oh, don't touch! That's a firefly. Can you say 'firefly'? Oh there he goes! Did you see him glow? He flew away, didn't he?"

The toddler doesn't respond, but his eyes are full of delight and wonder. He stands there a minute, looking around. Spotting Auntie Beth again, he trots over to her with his hand out.
"Do you want another one? Okay, I'll catch another one for you." It doesn't take long for her to find one and put it on the outstretched hand. The little boy is mesmerized.

The evening continues in this way - Zachary finding joy and delight in watching and holding fireflies, the rest of us finding joy and delight in watching Zachary - until the darkness is thick upon us. We finally move back inside and say our goodnights, anticipating an exciting Fourth filled with food, family, and fireworks.

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ehart said...

God's world is always so much more wonderful through the eyes of a child.

Miss Elizabeth said...

That's story sounds just like it happened. I go out and watch God's light show about every night so far and think of you all!