The Last Firefly
As the summer fades, and the sun sets just a bit earlier each evening, my thoughts turn toward fall. The changing of seasons are exciting for me. Soon, there well be trees on fire with color and the smell of fires flowing through chimneys. Hay rides, cooler mornings, cider, jackets. Funny how I enjoy seeing people in jackets.
There have been many changes of seasons. I have seen only a fraction of those. There have been many trees on fire with color. I have roamed under only a few of their leaves.
What I wonder about during the excitement of fall, is not so much the end of summer fun, but the last firefly. When spring faded, and days grew longer, my son’s eyes grew wide with the expectation of what we call “lightning bugs”. We waited, they came. We wanted, we were pleased as the yard became illuminated with so many, there were too many to catch.
Thoughts turn, however, away from the first of the fireflies, to the last. They are not as numerous. The backyard does not seem like a wonderland. Only one or two flashes of light on occasion.
While I am happy for those we caught and released, and while I am happy for our times together, I wonder if I enjoyed each one enough. My time with my son, our showing our catch to my wife, the neighbor kids passing by. I wonder if I enjoyed them enough. Would I have enjoyed it more if I understood these days were on the proverbial horizon.
It is a trick of the mind to think that everything will last. It is also a trick of the mind to believe that nothing will come again. I do not know when I will see the last firefly of the summer. Also, I do not know when I will see my last evening. There is such a beauty to life, that the mind wants to worry for the future more than the present.
There are so many good things, that our minds cannot sit quietly and take it all in. Some people meditate. Others drink and do drugs. Some we call spiritual. Others we call addicts.
We try to trick ourselves into the notion that we possess things. Things like cars, homes, and even time. All of this is a trick of the mind also. We build reputations, relationships, and resumes. All on shifting sands of illusion.
Trading peace for self-satisfaction, calm for planning, and happiness for judgments and opinions. Confusing desire and ambition for something less spiritual than prayer. We are creatures of habit and our habits tend to create tension in our lives and thoughts. Because we are comfortable with our decisions, the decisions of others are deemed wrong.
Nothing separates the first firefly from the last. If we enjoy the last candy, more than the first out of the bag, we have missed the point. Life will bring us what we hope for, simply because what we hope for is all it knows to bring. We cannot ask for fireflies all the time, but we can ask for the happiness fireflies bring.
Some authors claim the mind is a magnet, and that all of our thoughts are strings which pick our lives. They advise we dream big and believe. Believe and take action. Maybe they are right.
In the book, The Secret, the reader is advised that thoughts become things. That somehow, what we believe attracts what will be. Wayne Dyer was more correct when he said, “it is not what we think, it is what we are, that matters.”
I think in some ways, they are all correct. Those that do and those that dream. Those that wish and those that act. If we want love, we must become love. If we want peace, we must become peace. And if we want any material thing, we must be willing to share any material thing. Life is not hard to figure out, but it is difficult to live at times.
John Prine sang, “all I had to lose, was my point of view.”
This is my hope every day. Often, it is our opinions that keep us from seeing the good things the Universe is offering. We determine what is good or bad, and make our petitions based on what we think we know. So many wisdom traditions warn against judging what we think we see and feel.
One of the best offerings of advice I received was from a rich Romanian dude. He gave it when I was bemoaning the rain that affected our business together.
“It is what it is.”
Then he began to talk about how rain helped the flowers grow. He accepted what was, and then looked for the good in it all. He is a wise man. A very wise man.
Some people cannot see past the rain. These are not your people. Some people worry for the current firefly as if it was the last they will ever see. These are not your people either.
It is often said, that life is short, so you better appreciate your loved ones while you can. Yes and no. Everything matters and nothing matters. The secret to manifesting your desires is not found only in thought, but in how you handle your present condition.
If I offered a child a toy doll, and she smiled and laughed, and expressed gratitude, you can bet I would look for another doll the next time I was at the store. If she complained about the size, or the color of the doll’s hair, I might look for something else. I might not even look at all.
When we are grateful for what we have, the Universe offers us more for which to be grateful. When we complain about everything, Source continues to search for what might make us happy, but has no clue what that might be. We must dream, we must become what we desire, and we must be grateful. Those three. Only those three.
As for my last firefly. There is never a last firefly. There is only my worry for another, or my gratitude for the one I noticed. This is all.
You are powerful beyond your belief. You are creating worlds for yourself and others every moment. You are loved beyond what you are able to love. And, for the imagined record, your destiny is completely up to you.