I can remember summer evenings long past when the mere fact the sun stayed out until almost 9:00 o'clock was magic. I remember playing hide and seek until just after dark when the neighborhood changed from familiar to mysterious. Having foot races with my dad and other kids on the block. Getting eaten alive by mosquitoes and having way too much fun to care.
I remember catching lightning bugs.
Running, stopping, trying to pace myself to match their flight between illuminations so I could find them on the next one. The insects desperately trying to complete their obilgatory mating ballet. When you did manage to synchronize your rhythm and catch one, you had to observe it quickly. It urgently crawled to the highest point on your hand to take off before it missed a step of the primordial dance.
Those were heady times indeed.
I got to relive those moments when my children were young. Experiencing it anew through their eyes, answering their questions, and seeing the wonder all over again. I am proud to say that even though my girls are in their teens now, they still run from the car on a summer evening if we arrive home when the lightning bugs are at the ball. They still scoop them tenderly from the air and then watch them fly from their opened hands, faces beaming with that familiar wonder. It makes me stop and watch and love them even more.