Fireflies after 2am

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So here I am. It’s after two in the morning. I’m in the mountains right now where my soul gets all quiet. I just went outside with Niney and looked up at the vast sky of stars and now I’m sitting inside – near a fire, and candles and twinkling strands of white christmas light things that we have up year round that make me happy.
I wonder where in the world you are. I wonder if we’ve ever spoken. I wonder if we know each other really well or if we’re just passing ships in the night on the sea of cyberspace.
I was writing in my book journal moments ago and I was compelled to just reach out and write something here to share.
So – there’s two things that I was writing about in my book journal and it just seemed appropriate. This entry will probably be long….it is after 2am, I’m sitting in the dark next to a roaring fire with this device cradled in my lap that I can communicate anywhere in the world with – so I figured…..let’s talk, right?
This is where I can express my feelings and the random things that come into my brain. I hope all of the below story will make sense to you. I am a girl who is deeply touched by human connection and the mysteries of nature and I’m not afraid to get emotional about it. It may seem silly to some, but this is my journal and I can’t half-ass it. I go full out.
Welcome to my world.
This is what runs through my mind this early in the morning…the marvel of our connections with each other. Can I write words here that will make you feel less alone in the world that you can read at all hours in the morning as I type them? Can you inspire me to change my life for the better through a few words in your blog or through sharing a positive or impactful experience you had? The answer is yes. We can have that effect on each other and it’s a powerful force.
Case in point: Two years ago, I saw a youtube video of an amazing poi fire spinner named Burning Dan. My old roommate spun fire and I was always intrigued by the beauty of it. I imagined myself trying to do it, but I just figured I’d be really clumsy about it and it probably wouldn’t work. From time to time, I’d read Burning Dan’s journal and I’d watch a bunch of videos of him spinning and him teaching others to spin and smile. I liked his style. He was really encouraging to others, and he seemed like he lived his life with adventure.
Fast forward to two months ago (after all these years of dreaming about it), I walked into my first poi spinning class. I was really scared to do it – but I’ve been going every week and I love it. The picture above is me spinning with my practice poi on top of the mountain. I can honestly say it’s made my life better. When I’ve been dealing with crazy things, or upsetting things, I’ll just go outside and start spinning and immediately I feel uplifted.
Unfortunately, I heard word a few weeks ago, that Burning Dan passed away suddenly. I was so upset. I went to go tell Burke with tears in my eyes. And something struck me… here is this person, who I have never ever met, who had such an impact on me and inspired me with their craft and their positivity and their love of life…..just by reading his blog and watching a few youtube videos. It made me realize what a connection that we can have to each other here. ….We can share so much and change the world for the better by the good things that we put out there. Through watching Burning Dan’s videos and reading his positive message, I was inspired to learn something scary and new – and I am grateful for that. I wish I would have gotten the chance to give him a hug and thank him, or to write him a letter and let him know what a positive effect he had on my life. But sadly, I can’t. So I’m writing it here to share with you. I’m writing it here to put out there into the universe.
Thank you, Dan.
Now the second story is intertwined in the above story – and it also includes you and me. You and I, Dear Reader.
I was writing about my favorite parts of Summer 2010 that I didn’t want to forget and I was writing down something that happened in mid-September that affected me deeply.
One of my favorite parts of the Summers here on the East coast of the US are the fireflies. They come out in June and July and they light up the sky with their symphony – talking to each other – blinking signals in the night. The females stay on the ground mostly and the males fly around using light code to talk with the females. When we go up to our little cottage on the mountain, I can sit out for hours watching them light up the dark forest. They are, and have always been, otherworldly to me.
In mid-September, Burke and I came back to the cottage pretty late one night. That morning, I had been thinking of how much I missed the fireflies – how it isn’t the same without them at nighttime. As we walked up to the cottage, I saw a dull glow in the grass. I thought my eyes were playing tricks on me because it was September, but I got down on the ground and put my face inches away from the glow….and there she was…..the last firefly of 2010. Burke and I laid down on the grass watching the glow go on and off, very dimly. I couldn’t believe it. Two months after the fireflies had disappeared for the year – here was the last one.
Suddenly, I felt the tears running down my face. Here she was. All alone. The last of her kind for the year. The other fireflies of Summer 2010 were long gone and here she was blinking a soft glow into a dark night.
It just made all of these thoughts rush through my head. It made me think of all of the times in my life where I felt like I was communicating and not being heard, or when I felt alone or misunderstood. Because we’ve all felt that, haven’t we? We can all understand that occasional feeling of being alone even when we’re surrounded by a billion people.
But here was this creature….who was truly alone….who was the last of her kind. Blinking softly – awaiting some response in the night.
It made me emotional because I wish I could have blinked back. I wish I could have let this creature know how much it meant to me. I wish I could have let it know that that simple beauty of their communication in Summer nights is always one of my best and magical memories every year. I wish I could have communicated that my life has been enhanced by the very existence of fireflies.
But I couldn’t communicate that. I could only sit there and watch its dim glow attempting to reach out to others long gone.
Then something beautiful happened.
A little bit away, another one blinked softly. There was one other left. And this relief washed over me that this wasn’t the last firefly. That it wasn’t alone.
The whole experience really struck me.
I feel like that when I hear other people’s life experiences or when I read blogs of others. I feel like we put our lights out there. We share our emotions and what we are thinking and our daily experiences. And like my case with Burning Dan, even if I never reached out to him, I saw his light. And his light made me want to glow brighter and reach higher as a person.
We can have that effect on each other.
Be kind. Put good things out there. Know that you’re not alone and through all the highs and lows of this beautiful life – we are all fighting the good fight together.
And I’m over here just a little bit away – softly glowing into the dark night.