There’s a magic to summer nights in the woods, and I think it has a lot to do with light. Whether it be the multitudes of stars that appear so far from the light pollution of the city or the dancing flames of a roaring campfire, it’s light that carries our romances from spring to fall.
It was an oddity of light that caught my eye one summer night at the cabin. As I gazed outside, something was amiss. Somewhere about waist height in the indefinable blackness, a pinprick of light was alternating green and red. Obviously man’s influence was at work here, but the source was unclear; Higher up it would be a plane, but this combination was decidedly odd. My curiosity piqued, I went out to investigate.
As soon as I opened the door, I walked out into another icon of romantic summer light. I was suddenly engulfed in nature’s silent tribute to fireworks as, all around me, tiny green flickers told of fireflies calling for mates. I’ve always been charmed by these creatures, the beetles who move inconspicuously through the wilderness by day yet entertain us all so dramatically by night. There’s a magic all its own in that.
And there was also an answer to my evening’s mystery. Smiling at the rather tragic humour of it, I walked to the car to find a single firefly sitting on the windshield. Eternally trapped on the other side of the glass was the object of its affection, the flashing red LED of my car’s alarm system.
When the course of my own romantic life runs less smoothly than I’d hope, I take solace in this memory. No matter the depth my own daily drama, I trust the obstacles will never be as insurmountable as they were for that firefly and his star-crossed love that night.