Things That G0 SPARK in the Night

iStock_000003506509XSmallIt’s almost the 4th of July, and I woke up this morning wondering how many things from nature give sparks of light at night. This June in Vermont we have had frequent thunder and lightning storms. I sit on my window seat at night and marvel at the vertical and horizontal bolts as I watch the lightning unzip and zigzag through the sky.

In between the storms, when the air is humid and the wind is napping, I look for fireflies at night. Also known as lightning bugs, they are actually beetles, members of the family, Lampyridae.  Their lights are a means of attracting mates, or warning off predators.  An imature form of firefly is the glow worm. This invertebrate lives in woodlands and caves around the world and can even be found inside the Arctic Circle. It uses its bio-luminescence just as fireflies do, to attract mates. We humans have created headlamps to light our way at night, but as far as I know, none of them have been successful in attracting a mate!

I go to the Atlantic Ocean every August. Occasionally, I row out to a boat at night.  If I run my hand through the cold water, I stir up phosphorescence, the bio-luminescent plankton whose chemical substance is similar to that of fireflies.  One swish, and I see a whole wave of light. It’s thrilling. I look from the effervescent water up to the milky way of stars in clear summer sky and feel like I’m in a sandwich of cosmic light.

In November this year I’m going to Manitoba to watch for Northern Lights, or Aurora borealis. I hope to see the green, red, yellow and purple colors created by collisions of electrically charged particles from the sun that entFireworks clusterer earth’s atmosphere. To me, all these natural phenomena are the true fireworks of life. Humans have invented thrilling imitations but when I see lightening, fireflies, phosphorescence, or the Aurora Borealis, I feel humbled by the multitude of natural miracles that surround us. May you find a little light wherever you go in the night. Happy 4th of July!

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6 Responses to Things That G0 SPARK in the Night

  1. Catching fireflies at dusk is one of my touchstone childhood memories. I’ve written one version of it in my novel, but the one that connects me completely with my mother is the memory of a certain mid-summer evening. I was running about on the front lawn, trying to catch the glowing lights floating just out of my reach. She called to me from the porch, “Sally, it’s time for bed.” But I protested, “It’s still light out.” And she went back inside, allowing me those few extra minutes of freedom, in the nethertime between sunset and full darkness.

    • Eileen Rockefeller says:

      Hi Sally, Thanks so much for sharing this memory. How nice your mother appreciated your curiosity enough to give you those few extra minutes. Your story reminds me of how, when our sons were very little, we used to give our sons a glass jar to catch a few fireflies in. They took the jar to their bedroom and kept them overnight, as a kind of “nightlight” in their room. I’m sure they remember this too.
      Warmly, Eileen

  2. Ilsa says:

    I still remember my excitement 4 years ago when I saw my very first firefly after having moved from California to Minnesota. I had heard about fireflies and had an idea of what to expect but it didn’t compare to the magic of actually seeing them in person. Now I look forward to their arrival all year and never tire of watching their sparkling appear each warm summer night. There are times when the fields are so full of glowing lights that it’s hard to believe it’s actually real.

    • Eileen Growald says:

      Hi Ilsa, Thanks for your reply. I agree that there is magic to fireflies. Part of the miracle of life is to see light and feel the energy in even the tiniest forms of life.
      To light and life, Eileen

  3. Louis O. C (Manny) says:

    What a wonderful way of communicating the best of ourselves is this “blogging” thing, in or on the Internet, I have never done it, but I am happy to participate in it. I liked your description of the fireflies for the 4th of July as the way they go about interacting with other members of their species as could be too, their future mates. I have always been fascinated by Lightning-bugs, in Spanish we call them “Luciernagas” —little oil lamps for the night, when i was a child I used to imagine them as “fairies” talking to me, and I visualized myself shining as they do, while dancing in the middle of them. I will always protecting them when other kids wanted to trap them or harm them, so the Luciernagas liked me or at least I thought so, since they were very comfy around me and I remember feeling myself very strong and very confident among them too, strong enough to take on even bigger, bully kids, trying to harm us, something then, would make those ignorant kids leave us alone, so we could then keep dancing, I would dance then almost like in a trance, unaware then, like a wandering Sufi I know now do.

    The 4th of July is a very special day for me, as you know and as you graciously witnessed too, for on that day I became a naturalized American citizen—just last year. I love America for many reasons, but one of my favorites ones is that here, you can really have an easier time finding ourselves and being Yourself in its fullness to give the best of you to the world! I’ll look forward to reading your incoming book, because I feel as if everyone of us holds important pieces of a SuperGiant Puzzle which parts must come together and be placed in the right fitting area, so that one day we can all see —from above— the beautiful image of the meaning of our lives, it will them show us how we were and are, all deeply necessary and essential to the evolutionary progress of our consciousness, mission or purposes in life. I am sure many of those puzzle’s pieces are in places we can not even think they could be; and one of those places maybe be, your incoming “Memoir” book too, you never know but if you are open to it, then we can all see that the pieces are just there, waiting to fit, almost everywhere and anywhere.

    Eileen, I praised the Supreme Energy for given us the chance to have you in our lives. I Thank It and you, for being present when humanity weeps around you; and when you reach to feed our bodies and our spirits with the best you can or the best given to you in this apparently material world or vibration. Thank you for transmitting to us, the Greatest Love that IS there, even when you have to fight your doubts or others to do so, that in itself, bathed with your powerful empathy, is cathartic to all the sentient beings and the planet, and is, in fact, for all of us too, the ultimate way that our universe’s compassion travels back and forth, intermittently, in and out, on and off and as the light of the Luciernagas do so too, immerse in their sublime desire of love, connection and protection to dissipate the shadows of ignorance and fear, and to light the way towards what it all means! With Love: Luis Manuel Oropeza-Chong [manny].

    • Eileen Rockefeller says:

      Dear Manny,
      I am deeply moved by your beautiful words. I’m also in awe of your facility being that this is your second language. Thank you for reminding me this first anniversary of your becoming an American Citizen. I remember well wiping tears at your beautiful ceremony, as I did a few days ago for another friend from the Czech Republic.

      I agree with you that we each have all the pieces of ourselves. It’s just a matter of finding them, like little sparks in the night. We each come into this world with our own form of light and our challenge is to find out how to best use it. I am glad to be on this journey with you.

      With love, Eileen

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