Recovering Wonder

Sixty years ago I had just celebrated another birthday and was allowed to stay outside after dark to play a while longer with my siblings that evening. I think my mother knew what was in store for us. We had just moved to a new town about 250 miles southeast of our previous home. At first I thought I was seeing things. Sparks of light before my eyes. Moving toward the place I thought I saw them, more appeared and then it became obvious they were flying.

Sixty years ago I had run about frantically, catching a few to put in a jar for a little while, only vaguely aware of other wonders of evening time going on around me. Now I walk around slowly, listening to croaking frogs and the sound of my footsteps on grass–the sweet scent of honeysuckle enveloping me when I draw close to the vine growing thick on the yard fence. Seeing those first fireflies then was a wondrous experience unsurpassed by everything else I had seen of the world by that time of my life. Now each spring I'm able to, I get to a place where they live to wait and watch patiently for their arrival, just to recover a bit of wonder.

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