Friday, September 07, 2007


The time of fireflies is long over in these parts, so like anyone else who lives in even a small way for such things I was amazed a few nights ago, during a step out onto the deck for a look at the clear summer stars, to see a star down there in the grass.

At first I thought it might just be my eyes, still holding fast to the image of a bright star, or perhaps it was an ember of my wish to see the light at last, but no, it insisted, it blinked slowly, it was really down there. Same color as a firefly, but just one, not a bunch of them sparking here and there as it is with the little flying lanterns. Also, it was larger and slower, and didn't fly, just moved slowly through the grass, at least while I watched whatever it was.

I've never seen such a thing, and at first was tempted to get a flashlight and go down there to find out what it was, but I knew that my brightlight approach on heavy footfalls while parting the grass here and there would quench that little star, so I just observed from where I was as the blinker moved on through the grass and then turned itself off for the rest of the time I watched.

A couple of nights later, not thinking of the light, which I understand is one of the better ways of seeing the light, I was out on the deck again as part of the star theater audience and noticed the same star shining in the immediate dark, but this time partway up on one of the stalks of the mountain bamboo. The light wasn't blinking in any pattern, just ons and offs of random lengths, and again, there was only one. I still don't know what it was, and haven't seen it since.

I hear that's often the way with enlightenment.

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