Friday, June 12, 2009

I have seen things that you will never see

Every year as the days get long and temperatures rise, I wait for the return of the fireflies. I have lots of memories of summers running wild with my cousins in backyards and side streets, and almost all of them involve fireflies at some point. But my favorite firefly memory is from much later, the summer before my senior year in high school.

I spent two weeks at Girl Scout camp that summer. The session I went to was based around a backpacking theme, so we spent the first week learning about backpacking and practicing walking up and down horrible hills with heavier and heavier packs. During the second week, we spent four days out backpacking. We ate rehydrated meals and pumped water out of streams with a purifier and peed in the woods and all. It was fun, and it was the first time other than in Taekwondo class that I'd had the experience of pushing my body past what I thought it was capable of, and learning what I could really do. As a 17-year-old, I found it very empowering.

We finished the trek in the afternoon on the fourth day and took showers and camped at the trailhead campground, planning to head back to Scout camp the next morning. We were set up in a large, flat field, perhaps the size of a football field. We put up our tents along the fenceline on one side of the field, facing a line of tall pines trees on the other side. As we lay down to sleep, the fireflies arrived. There must have been thousands of them. Perhaps even tens of thousands. As they flickered and flashed, the pine trees lit up as though they'd been wrapped in twinkling Christmas lights. I wanted to lie awake all night and watch them. I would give a lot to have that memory available on some kind of mental YouTube, safe forever for me to watch whenever I want, for the rest of my life. It was the most beautiful thing I've ever seen.

Reading:  Black by Ted Dekker

Playing:  the Garden State soundtrack and my new blog playlist over there in the sidebar

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