Thursday, February 6, 2014

Day 6: Fireflies

Day 6/28: fireflies

I used to catch fireflies in a jar when I was little, poking holes in the top so that they could breathe, and watch them light up and crawl around. I grew up just outside of DC, and in the summer there were ALWAYS fireflies around (I don’t see them often where I live now). Lightning bugs, my brother and I called them, because for just that one split second, they illuminated the world around them, like a bolt of lightning.

I found out years later that it’s actually a little chemical reaction that goes on, to make the lightning bugs glow. Bio-luminescence. But to a small, 7 year old girl, all I could see was a little lightbulb that turned on and off.

Reading about the mythology behind the fireflies later on, I learned that they used to be an almost “slang” term for a cigar; there’s a story where a mischievous fox ‘steals’ fire from the fireflies and gives it to the rest of the world; a Filipino legend says that fireflies were once ordinary flies, gifted with light by the stars so that they may guard the trees of the star apples. There are so many myths and legends about these tiny little bugs that illuminate the night, it’s amazing to me how they’ve slipped out of the legends and become just an insect that appears only at night.

Brittany's fireflies
Tynan's fireflies



  2. An attempt at some short, tired poetry after a looong ass shift.