A Message From The Fireflies
I live in Northern Ontario where we are fortunate enough to enjoy being surrounded by nature. When I was a kid in the summer, we spent a lot of time outdoors because you have to capitalize on the few months of summer that we get. Our summer vacations were spent mostly at camp (what some of you call the cottage/lake house/cabin depending on where you live). Our cousins had a camp just down the road and we were constantly going back and forth at all hours.
At night, when we walked the dirt road, we would see fireflies flickering everywhere. There were no street lights of course, just some camps on one side, and a whole lot of forest on the other. It was dark. Really dark. So seeing the fireflies always made me feel safe. They were a glimmer of light in the pitch black night. Sometimes, we would even catch them in jars and use them as our own personal flashlights for awhile, before releasing them back to nature.
As the years passed, the fireflies disappeared. It was disappointing, but eventually, I got used to not seeing them anymore. Apparently, so did a lot of other people. Those of us who grew up being fascinated by fireflies, resigned ourselves to the fact that our kids would likely not experience the same magic on a summer’s night. Fireflies, also called lighting bugs, are found all over the world and according to my google search, this decline in sightings has occurred everywhere. The culprits are thought to be development and light pollution.
Almost 40 years later, I have my own camp and my sister has one down the road. So again, cousins spend many a summer day and night going between one camp and the other. And this year, something really cool is happening....
The fireflies are returning! In fact, it seems (anecdotally anyhow) that they are returning everywhere. I’ve been seeing Facebook comments and Instagram pics people have posted about the sudden appearance of fireflies in their area. Folks are giddy with excitement at the opportunity to relive their childhood memories and to share this experience with their own kids.
This sudden materialization of the fireflies strikes me as curious. It has me wondering what this is all about? Why now? If you’re strictly the scientific type, you may say it’s just a cycle, and perhaps you’d be right. I am a friend of science and I believe in the cycles of nature. I also believe that we humans are infinitely connected to nature and that we have a lot to learn by paying close attention to it. I also believe in things that some people consider to be more than a little woo-woo. I have an inner witch, if you will, and she tells me that the fireflies have a message for us.
Call me crazy, but I believe that the return of the fireflies, those glimmers of light in the darkness, is no coincidence. I think nature is trying to tell us something, if we’re just willing to listen and believe. In these times of chaos, when hate and fear and tragedy seem to be prolific, when some days it seems there is little hope for humanity and that we are collectively digging ourselves our own grave. When it appears that the dark side is winning and that maybe we should just surrender, the fireflies are returning to remind us to focus on the light, especially in the darkest hours. They are telling us that there is always a sliver of hope, a droplet of optimism, if we are willing to just walk through the darkness and seek it out.
I think the fireflies are reappearing as messengers from The Universe/The Big Kahuna/The Great Spirit/Mother Nature/Allah/Brahman/God/Yahweh/Collective Consciousness (take your pick), because now, more than ever, we must have hope. We need to know that all is not lost. We need to have the optimism to keep putting one foot in front of the other, to keep trying to make the world a brighter place, even when it seems like the darkness is swallowing up our attempts. The fireflies want us to remember that darkness can never overpower light.
The darker the sky, the more you are able to see the light poke through. Think about the truth of that. You can see the stars best when the sky is darkest. The purpose of a flashlight, or a candle, is to light the way in the dark. You can’t see fireflies flicker in the daytime... they only show themselves at night.
Listen, you can choose to believe whatever you want. Feel free to dismiss this as the crazy ramblings of a person who spends too much time contemplating things like fireflies. That’s totally your call. No skin off my back as they say. But I’m holding on to my theory because it makes me feel better. Even in the darkest hours, when I think of the return of the fireflies, I’ll always have a glimmer of hope that the light will eventually prevail.