Sunday, May 10, 2015

Sparks, Fireflies and Surprises

This has been a hard week, but Thursday as I was making my way to bed and grateful to be doing so, my husband came in from outside and said, "There are fireflies everywhere out there." So, I went outside and sat on the kitchen steps which look out over the field by the side of the house which, sure enough, was full of fireflies. It was a clear night, and so the sky was full of bright stars, and the field was full of bright stars dancing and leaping around--campostella, I thought. I sat there for quite a while, and I did the same on Friday and Saturday, and as soon as I post this, I'm going out again. I plan to do so every night until they go away for the year. It made me think of this scripture from Wisdom 3.
The souls of the righteous are in the hand of God,a and no torment shall touch them. They seemed, in the view of the foolish, to be dead; and their passing away was thought an affliction and their going forth from us, utter destruction. But they are in peace. For if to others, indeed, they seem punished, yet is their hope full of immortality; Chastised a little, they shall be greatly blessed, because God tried them and found them worthy of himself. As gold in the furnace, he proved them, and as sacrificial offerings he took them to himself. In the time of their judgment they shall shine and dart about as sparks through stubble.
 I can't tell you how many times I've read that with people who were planning funerals, but this year it's particularly apropos, and especially today, my first Mother's Day since my mother died.

People don't seem to remember this anymore, but when I was a girl, we used to wear roses to church on Mother's Day. You wore a red rose if your mother was alive, and a white rose if your mother was dead. This morning, I knew that they were going to give roses to all the mothers at Mass, and as we arrived at church, I saw women walking out with all different colors of roses, and I told my husband that I wanted a white one--and I got one. Well, by the time I took this picture, the one from Mass had been sitting out in a hot car all day, but these were on the table at the restaurant where my son took us to dinner, so I took a picture of them.

The fireflies have been a real gift for me. They are so beautiful, and it's so peaceful out there. It really lifted my spirit. It reminds me of this old hymn by William Cowper. I see I've dislocated a phrase from the second verse and stuck in the first, but this is the way I was remembering it.

          Sometimes a light surprises the Christian while he sings;
          It is the Lord Who rises with healing in His wings.
         Set free from present sorrow, He grants the soul again
         A season of pure shining to cheer it after rain.



  1. So meaningful to me. Thanks for the beauty and for sharing.

  2. You're fortunate. I haven't seen fireflies in that quantity since I was a child. I noticed a few here several nights ago, but very few. Only rarely have I seen them in any number. I don't know if insecticides have killed them off or what, but I really miss them. And they should be there for the children.

    1. There have been years when there were 4 times as many as there are this year, but still, it's beautiful.

      Maybe the grandchildren could see them at your mother's sometime.


  3. Sacrament. Outward and visible signs. Being drawn upward by the things He has made (Romans 1:18-20). Lewis: “We cannot see light, though by light we can see things. Statements about God are extrapolations from the knowledge of other things which the divine illumination enables us to know ” – verbiage too clunky – I think that your verbiage is better!
    My daughters may have grown up without seeing fireflies – at least at my house – here in rural West Texas. I asked my husband, who grew up out here. He said he has not seen any in a long time.
    I appreciate the Cowper reference. I found the hymn in an older Methodist hymnal and sang it as part of my meditation time this morning. Jane Austen seemed very fond of Cowper. I remember literature books from which I taught that merely mentioned Cowper as a crazed fanatic (probably not in such strong terms).