Seems as though 'all Princeton' was at Richardson Auditorium, Monday night, relishing the splendors of the Chiara String Quartet. I wonder if everyone else was privileged to drive home through fireflies.
Even to walk across the Princeton campus, Richardson at my back, to the rising of fireflies!
To drive alongside the quarry, transformed by fireflies.
I've been fascinated by these magical creatures ever since childhood. We didn't have them in Lathrup Village, near Birmingham, Michigan. Every summer, my little sister and I I would collect them at dusk in nearby Ohio. We would carefully settle the winking ones among fresh grasses in mayonnaise jars brought for our purpose.-- Jars whose lids had tiny round holes punched in them so that the lightning bugs could breathe all the way back home. We'd almost fly, ourselves, out of the car and into the side yard to release our precious cargo. We, naturally, expected them to promulgate.
Year's later, a mocking poet scolded, "Carolyn, only one sex lights."
Maybe the lightning bugs found their own way to Michigan by now.
Here on my hill above Canal Road, fireflies rise even before sundown. Their yellow-green electrification punctuates the darkness.
I've read that they like grassy stretches near woods, which is certainly what we have. Even the gravel comes alight. Later, I do my standing exercises by the long windows, watching "the woods fill up" with light.
One night, they flew so high, it seemed they were on trajectory to meet their sisters, the stars.
Here is a new poem on the subject.
I wish you fireflies!
if they are
from grass blades
high in the trees
and I wonder
when do the lightning bugs
when they run out of trees
CAROLYN FOOTE EDELMANN
June 21, 2012