Fireflies

The other day, standing at a busy street corner in California, I’m reminded of summer evenings, growing up in Ohio. The air would feel warm, slightly humid, and as the light faded, small yellow twinkles would start up. First one, then a couple more, then dozens, hundreds. Not synchronized, just twinkling at random.

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We called them lightning bugs, and kept them in jars with nail holes in the lids to be used as our bedroom nightlight. Or we proudly wore the pinched-off lighted tails as rings on our fingers, until our mothers called us in for the evening.

 

My mind floats back to the present, waiting for the light to change so I can cross the street in San Francisco.  The air, unusually warm, is still.  A half dozen or more cars are facing me, lined up to turn right onto a freeway ramp as soon as the signal allows. Their yellow turn signals twinkle on and off at random.

Urban fireflies.

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