fireflies on the living room floor


Here’s a quote from Annie Dillard’s Pilgrim at Tinker Creek

Then one day I was walking along Tinker Creek thinking of nothing at all and I saw the tree with the lights in it. I saw a backyard cedar where the mourning doves roost charged and transfigured, each cell buzzing with flame. I stood on the grass with the lights in it, grass that was wholly fire, utterly focused and utterly dreamed. It was less like seeing than like being for the first time seen, knocked breathless by a powerful glance. The flood of fire abated, but I’m still spending the power. Gradually the lights went out in the cedar, the colors died, the cells unflamed and disappeared. I was still ringing. I had been my whole life a bell, and never knew it until at that moment I was lifted and struck.

I woke up this morning and there was a firefly on the living room floor.

My first thought when I saw the little pinpoint of light was “who moved the power strip?”.

I’d like to report that I had my “whole life as a bell” moment then…but it was mostly confusion at seeing a blurry little green light on my way to the toilet.

That’s the beauty of waking up slowly…if the confusion isn’t over something dangerous, you can ponder it for a while.

Being slow on the draw doesn’t always kill you.

Our house is pretty tight.  We still get some air whistling through when the winter winds blow hard, but for the most part we don’t have a whole lot of bugs migrating in.

The bugs have to work at it to get into our house now.

It poured down rain last night…a real gully washer…so this lone firefly must have found his way in and out of the deluge…and on to our living room floor to give me something to write about this morning.

( That’s the thing about ego…everything revolves around the “hub of the universe”.  I doubt the firefly had anything concerning me in his head when he came out of the rain…it just sounds fantastically powerful to suppose that synchronicity was at play when he was still shining when I got up this morning….like “look what God gave me!!  A blog post topic!!”  I’m sure that God has better things to do….and, probably, so does that firefly.)

That random firefly was pretty cool, though.

Like a jewel…or a little star…on the living room floor.  It could be anything in the transition from sleeping to writing.  Another “oooohhhhh…..shiny” moment.

There are all these amazing moments…amazing things in the world…that because they’re familiar to us we stop being amazed.

I guess our heads would explode if we constantly gave things the credit they deserve.

But I don’t think it’s just stuff that we’re familiar with in our own small corners that ceases to amaze.

Now we can say…”Oh…yeah….I saw that on TV…I know about that…right, I watched that special where the guy was in the submarine…yeah….a thousand feet down…I know about that.”

“I know about that”.  When did that start?  About the time of the first Apple Festival?

We can be tuning forks.  We can be bells.  There’s a lot of things in this world that are trying to ring us…lots of amazement waiting.

“I know about that” already.

image from here.



About Peter Rorvig

I'm a non-practicing artist, a mailman, a husband, a father...not listed in order of importance. I believe that things can always get better....and that things are usually better than we think.

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