Firefly Snowglobe

I think I’m still in a bit of shock about my living here. See, I have it in my head that when most people move a distance of nearly 3,000 miles there’s time to let it register, toss it around on one’s tongue for a bit, see how it sounds spoken.

(San Francisco).

We didn’t have that time. I am only now realizing that we found out we were moving and had three weeks from that day to get everything taken care of. Looking back, that’s insane.

Lately, I have really been missing my east coast home. I think I was running so fast trying to get settled that I forgot where it was I was settling and who with. And I may have avoided thinking about who and where I was leaving behind—a sort of unintentional mindshock in order to make things easier.

(San Francisco).

The other day, Toby and I headed over the Cathy and Mike’s place for a Memorial Day cookout. We cooked sausages, veggie burgers, not dogs, corn on the cob, veggies of all shapes and sizes, homemade and amazing guacamole (thanks, Mike). We had a feast. The eats were incredible. The conversation was even better. We talked about computers and wine. We discussed babies and having them. We talked about doctors and yoga classes, books, the places we come from and how we all met. Both of these people are wonderful, new additions to my life. And both of them moved here from DC not one year ago. But we didn’t know them when we were there.

After Mike opened a bottle of wine and I had had a few glasses, I started with my questions. I asked them both what they missed the most about DC and what the liked best about living out here.

“Fireflies.” Cathy answered.

When I was a kid, I spent many evenings collecting lightning bugs in the back yard. There were hundreds of them, at least in my memory. They were so thick, I didn’t even crave a night-light. They were everywhere. You could cup your hands, wave them before your head, and come back around with a plethora. It was nights like those, blinky hot summer nights spent collecting bug lights in Pennsyltuckey, where one contemplates God. After all, why would science create a bug who blinks?

Two years ago Toby and I were in a rental car headed west from New York City. We were headed to Pennsylvania to visit the folks for the 4th of July. You see Bob, he likes his 4th of July tailgating extravaganza. He plans on it days in advance. He gets geared up, probably sharpens his grill paraphernalia, maybe polishes them as well. It’s a big deal. And I love it. So, Toby and I were driving there to join them. It was a humid, July evening. It was dark. We were on route 322.

On 322 that night there were so many lightning bugs, I started to wonder if they were bringing us an early dawn. It was an amazing site to see. Up until that point, I started to believe that I had enhanced my memories of fireflies. (I am prone to do that when it comes to a history. Elaborate).

As we drove along this twisty-turny, Pennsylvania road, weaving in and out of 18-wheelers in search of more darkness to see more of this little world, I was introduced to one of life’s smiles. There’s something sad and wonderful about growing older, remembering your youth, and driving back to visit the people who gave you the opportunity to see a firefly.

(She’d be perfectly dressed if she had some fireflies).

12 Comments

  1. they don’t have fireflies out there?

    weird.

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  2. having grown up on the west coast, i can attest to the fact that there are no fireflies. like lightening storms, they are predominately east coast event…
    was walking in lafayette park last week, watching a sea of fireflies all over the grass. its pretty amazing to watch…

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  3. but California has ‘more bounce’.. no?

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  4. I’m terrified of bugs, so my first experience with fireflies was not a pleasant one. I was about 9, visiting Tennessee, and afraid they were going to land on my nose and light up without me knowing it.

    I know. I blame my utter weirdness on being an only child.

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  5. Yeah, fireflies are some of the things I miss…I miss the thunderstorms, as Amy mentioned…I also miss the fact that back it stays warm all day and into the night. The fog here makes sure none of that happens..I swear it got close to 40’s last night. There is something wrong with it drops to the 40’s on a June night.

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  6. Someone should sneak some in. We’ll then see what we can do about adding in some thunder and lightning. I bet Hollywood could make something happen, no? I hear there will be like on storm. And that soon the waves here will reach massive heights. But I’ll miss the east coast stormy weather. What’s it like back there these days?

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  7. Cat, no crap. I was FREEZING last night. I was doing laundry and found myself cuddling with the stuff coming out of the dryer. Weird, that fog. Very weird.

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  8. Weird, everything you mentioned about the whole moving experience and such was exactly what I experienced. It is weird, there are parts to S.F that I do like, but I think I will always be an East Coast Chic. Now I am going to have to make sure Belly remembers her East Coast roots as well!
    P.S. good to know you guys had has much fun as we did at our impromptu cook-out!

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  9. I remember a friend telling me when you fly in an aiplane across the country it takes a few days for your soul to catch up to your body. I always thought that was a funny idea and when I’m in a plane I kindof see my soul hanging on to the wing getting blown six way to sunday-– but it’s gotta be the case with a sudden move across country when you’ve moved your WHOLE life. Settling in takes time, it probably comes in waves – oh my GOD the Lightning Storm that just began! Flashing and a total downpour—I blame it on y’all out west who miss this damn weather—15 days of RAIN and counting. Ugh.

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  10. You’re kidding, Bluepoppy?! Where on earth are you? See, that’d be ok right now. Don’t get me wrong the weather here is amazing, but it’s the little things.

    Your comment reminded me of a line from Angels in America, where Mary Louise Parker is flying from NYC to San Francisco and says something like “There’s nothing like taking a night flight and chasing the sun across America.” I am only now realizing the two don’t really have that much in common but still. :]

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  11. pulled if off the web-god blees imdb. last scene with mary louise parker….
    “Nothing’s lost forever. In this world, there’s a kind of painful progress. Longing for what we’ve left behind, and dreaming ahead. At least I think that’s so. “

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  12. Hmmmmmm, perhaps the one I’m thinking of was before that? Not sure. Wish I could find it.

    Reply

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