Chasing Lightning Bugs
I glanced up from my book and wondered, was that a flash?
I put my head back into my book and then in another second, it registered; that was a flash.
The lightning bugs have returned another year. With no shoes on, I ran out into the backyard just like I did when I was a kid. I stand in the middle of my yard and there, and there, flashes of light. Magic is happening around me, surrounding me in light.
I would chase lightning bugs as a child with my cousins late into the evening. When we could barely see anything anymore, we went into the house to wash up for the night. When my cousin would stay with us, she and I would talk about the lighting bugs late into the night. We would compare the sizes of the ones we caught, even though we knew they were all the same size. We always wanted to put them in glass jars and bring them in, but our moms would tell us they should always be free.
Tonight, my backyard was alive and dancing. The lightning bugs were darting in and out of my bushes. They were dancing around my head. They lit up the night way past dusk. We would watch them until we were too tired to look anymore and fell asleep happy from our adventures with these tiny and bright friends.
Why is it that when we were kids, we were so free, and now we are so reserved? What happened to our childhood wonder about things like lightning bugs? Why do most of us stop chasing them and our dreams? I am chasing my dreams today like I did when I was nine years old.
Tonight, I chased the lightning bugs again. I remember my childhood and my feeling of wonder with this world. Sitting on my swing tonight watching this show, that I felt was just put on for me, what made me get up and chase them again?
I was relaxed. I was reading outside. I was burning incense to keep the buggies away. I watched the lightning bugs for a while, then kicked off my shoes, ran in the grass, and chased the lightning bugs. I caught one and watched it light up in my hand and I remember how much fun childhood was. Leapfrog with tons of cousins. A swimming pool that we all came out all pruned up from when my mom would tell us to get out or else.
Life as a child is about chasing dreams and lightning bugs. It is about freeze tag and mother may I, red light, green light, and hopscotch. It is about being present. It is about having fun.
When we get older, we feel embarrassed chasing dreams, lightning bugs, and hiding under weeping willows for hide and seek. Might I suggest a return to those fun days? Draw a hopscotch on your driveway and show those and kiddos how it is done. Get a hula hoop and have a go of it on your arm, your leg, your waist, and your neck.
Let fun return to your life. So what if you think you look silly? Do it! Make the silly face, run the sack race, and chase those childhood memories of chasing lightning bugs.
Life is all about getting all the experiences you can while you are here for this short time. Have no kids? Buy yourself a hula hoop, buy yourself a gallon of bubbles, and blow them each night after dinner on your stoop or porch. Run around the yard and blow bubbles all over.
Life is seriously hard; don’t make it harder. Have some fun, chase those dreams of being a writer, or learn how to make a clay mug. Make your dreams come true both of chasing your lighting bugs and your dreams.
May you find your joy. May you find your inner child. May you chase your dreams, for they are in your hands, just like those lightning bugs. They come and go in a flicker of light, so what are you waiting for?
Go chase those lightning bugs and dreams. Blow some bubbles when life gets hard, and remember to laugh at yourself.