Wednesday, April 7, 2010

The fireflies

While lost among the fireflies buzzing and blinking, I took a deep breath. It all feels surreal, this place. I was lost in the Dongshi Forest (東勢林場) with friends. I stayed behind the pack, hoping to actually lose them. It's sort of a horrible thing to say, but I felt like it was just me and the fireflies that night. An accompanying prince among a group of sirens on my maiden voyage in deep uncharted (blinking) territory. The others would gather speed and I would slow methodically down. There was an almost obligatory air surrounding the whole set. It was as if I was there to look after them as long as they were sending signals back, a true Odysseyan encounter. Some would come right up and blink alongside my skin, playing a game of kissing tag. I would enact selfishly and trap them within my palmed hands, looking into the palms like a child finding his first beetle. The whole act of me catching it was a sort of childish game; picture a young boy jumping in the air to catch that one so close, missing the first time then going back for a successful second attempt, so excited to finally score the awaited one. In the hands, bore his prize. Oh the greatness bestowed within those hands! Some sort of chemical magic I can only pretend to understand. It was green and glowing. Hard to feel but definitely present. I held the warmth for a while, letting others peek in, giving them just a glimmer of the gold, only to set my prize free and watch the blinking fly up, up higher into the sky. The firefly joined his enemies, his friends, the sea of black beyond. I looked at a field of them and they all blinked in an almost choreographed set. First the ones far in the back, then the blinking in the front. I'd like to say they were putting on a show just for me. A beautiful masquerade of dirty antennae and glowing appendages. But that would be just selfish of me to say. So instead, I took it for what it was, the fireflies buzzing by.

1 comment:

  1. I love fireflies!!!! They are my favorite insect... next to the praying mantis. They are so magical and I guess I miss that about living in Texas and being in the country. We would firefly hunting and not necessarily to catch them, but just to be surrounded by them... to feel somehow more connected to the Earth around us. Good times.