One summer my family was camping with several other families on the wonderful Rio Frio in Texas. We’d had a great time so far, but that evening my husband and I had an serious argument, and I was really feeling low. In my desperation I decided to take a walk.
It was even more than “pitch dark” so I picked my way carefully on the path that led to the river. My feet probably took me there because the river was so full of shining memories of better moments. And I was in great need of some better feelings.
As I navigated the steps down toward the bank I began to see amazing twinkling lights which I couldn’t process or comprehend.
I cautiously continued, not knowing what to think. It was as if someone had switched on thousands of tiny Christmas lights all over the river from near the water up even past the tops of the tall trees.
My disbelief turned into curiosity as I forgot my sadness in an effort to figure out what was going on. The only similar experience I’d ever had was going to the Galleria, a shopping center in Houston where countless lights hang above a skating rink.
Yet I just couldn’t fathom what these dizzying lights were about. I hadn’t seen anything in the air during that afternoon when we were lazying around in innertubes there, and I knew there was no ready source of electricity by the river banks.
At long last I came to the thrilling realization that it was lightning bugs! They were literally everywhere, and far too many to even hazard a guess about numbers.
When the truth of the fireflies hit me like thunder, I somehow let go of much of my distress. After staying there for quite a while to commune with that miracle of healing light, I returned to the camp ready to face the world (and my husband) with a new perspective.
Never before have I seen such a sight, and I’ll be willing to bet never again will I be so amazingly uplifted and blessed with this gentle yet sparkling light from nature as I was that night.
I don’t even need to see it again. This I will hold in my heart forever. It is always in my memory to light up the moments when I’m in need of a little sparkle.
Copyright by Hildra Tague. Contact the author for print or online republication.