Reflecting on Childhood….

Last night was one of those perfect summer nights. It was warm, but not too warm. There was a nice breeze and it wasn’t humid. Summer nights like these remind me of my childhood and the days before air conditioning drove us indoors. I remember my father teaching us how to catch fireflies, using an open hand from underneath. Just like in this photo, we would trap the fireflies in an old Mason jar, with holes poked into the lid. When we would stay overnight at my Aunt Audrey’s, she would let us keep the jar on the dresser. I remember watching those fireflies until I fell off to sleep. In the morning, the fireflies would be gone. We would scold my aunt for making the holes too large, and allowing the fireflies to escape. She would promise to be more careful next time, rather than telling us she had let the fireflies loose. And of course, the next time, the same thing happened all over again. There was great wisdom and great tenderness in this tiny ‘deception’. I was sure at least one firefly remained in that bedroom, and I spent time looking for where it might hide. Or wondering how it had escaped through those holes. By allowing us to imagine what happened to those fireflies, rather than knowing she had let them go, a bit of magic was preserved, a tiny sliver of childhood carried on. So when my daughter was little, I taught her to catch fireflies and allowed her to keep the Mason jar on her dresser. And of course, when she scolded me in the morning, I let the magic carry on, for another generation. Is there a child in your life, room for a little magic? Take time to pass along the joys of your childhood, allowing yourself to be a child again, while fondly remembering the adults that took time for you. Photo by Dozenroses13


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