Random thoughts from an animal-loving French prof / mom of three on things she finds beautiful, funny, sad, or strange.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Fireflies and stars

Sometimes it's hard to tell stars and fireflies apart, especially if your vision's clouded. Yes, I know that fireflies usually glow green and dart about and that their light appears to be a whole lot closer, namely because it is. But if you take your glasses off to have a good old-fashioned cry, as I did a couple weeks ago, well, it's pretty easy to confuse them. Not that this confusion is necessarily a bad thing – after all, what I saw through tear-rimmed lashes was a glorious blur of twinkling lights.

And Lord knows I needed both glory and light that late spring night. I'd been butting heads with one of my kids, watching something eat away at her before my eyes, and it didn't seem like there was anything I could do. If anything, in fact, I kept making things worse, which is about as bad a feeling as a mama can ever have. So yeah, I needed light that night, and plenty of it. I sat on my front porch praying for guidance, praying for help and a sense of hope. I got my answer in the form of fireflies and stars.

As I sat there watching, my tears slowly dried. Then I got to thinking about what stars and fireflies really are. Fireflies are awesome and all, but, truth be told, they're bugs. Black, wiggly, six-legged, flying bugs. As for stars, well, they're balls of heat and gas and nuclear reactions. Look too closely at either and you risk losing the sense of beauty and wonder they instill (unless, perhaps, you happen to be some sort of entomologist or astronomer, which I'm not).

I think it might be kind of the same with our relationships, family and all the rest. If we look too closely, we might lose the forest for the trees. Yes, we should keep on looking, and yes, we need to give those we love the full extent of our attention and care. Just don't get hung up on the details. Focus too much on atoms and antennae, and you'll miss out on the glow. Stay watchful, but as you do, don't forget to cherish the miracle of this other life which for some incredible reason, you are blessed enough to share.

Step back.

Look again.

Firefly or a star?

Does it matter?

Hold it loosely.

Let it shine.

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