Sometimes, life is as simple as lightning bugs

Off in the distance, the first visible pop of yellow caught their eyes.

Concentrating more intently, they walked over to the area where the yellow first appeared. On the way, however, they were greeted with a flash here and a pop there. Moving as fast as they could to each area, it wasn’t long before their frustration of having just missed it was replaced with a broad smile as they proclaimed to anyone within earshot they had just captured another.

But I digress.

The “they” are two of my three granddaughters. The “what” is the wonderful pursuit of lightning bugs, as I grew up knowing them by. The girls often called them fireflies, as well.

The “where” was their new home in Ohio.

I suppose one could argue the warmth and glow of a campfire in the evening is about as good as it gets. Others might say stargazing ranks right up there, as well. Still others might contend it is a glimpse of the northern lights that is the best summer evening experience. While I would be hard-pressed to argue against the merits of any of those, watching the joy on my granddaughters’ faces reminded me of the summer fun that can be enjoyed by youngsters in many areas of the country.

Unfortunately, northern Michigan is not prime lightning bug territory.

But the agricultural farmland of Ohio is, and that is where those two found enjoyment on the first night in their new home.

No sooner than one of them captured the first bug, the other was imploring Grandma to find a glass bottle. Naturally, she obliged, but not before she had punched holes on the top and pulled up some grass and placed it at the bottom of the jar.

The girls quickly learned that fireflies aren’t very fond of captivity.

Can you blame them?

The bugs would stay near the top of the jar, often attaching themselves to the underside of the lid, making newly captured prisoners hard to load into their new digs. A hard tap on the top of the lid usually did the trick, however, allowing enough time to open the lid and place the newest captive inside before the lid screwed tight again.

Inside the jar came the intermittent glow of a light here, a light there. While the light in nature apparently triggers a response from the opposite sex that often ends in fireworks of its own, I doubt much of that was happening inside the jar, regardless of the glow.

Outside in the stillness of the night, two girls kept giggling and running from one end of the yard to the other.

As the two adjust to a new city, a new school, a new church, and make new friends, they found peace and contentment that evening in the glow of a hundred little lights.

Sometimes, life doesn’t have to be so hard.

Sometimes, it is as simple as a little lightning bug.

Bill Speer can be reached at 989-354-3111, ext. 311, or bspeer@thealpenanews.com. Follow him on Twitter @billspeer13.