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All Beliefs are Welcome Here!

Here in the South where I live, there is a magical thing that happens every June. Starting at sunset and continuing through the night until daybreak for about 6 weeks, we have a little bug that comes out and their rear lights up. He is a harmless little creature. Don't bite or sting or any of that nasty stuff, but it is quite magical to watch them.


The male bug is about 1 inch long and the female is about 3 inches long. There are several species all over the world, but I'll talk about the southern one we have. The female is flightless but the male flies all night long, blinking his little green butt light, looking for that "special" date all his own. I understand they mate and she lays her eggs just barely under the soil. They hatch during the summer and hibernate back under the ground during the winter, to start the life cycle over during the beginning of June. I have only seem a few females in my lifetime, but they too light up.


I remember as a kid getting a mason jar and catching the little bugs to watch them light up. One time when I was upset with my Dad for something, I caught somewhere around 50 or so and then unscrewed the top of the glass mayonnaise jar and left it sitting under their bed. Well, after dark the show began and my Mom was not amused. Since I am a only child, it was not difficult for her to figure out who had done the deed. Of course, leaving the jar behind was a pretty good clue. Now as a adult, and with all the CSI shows, I would have taken the jar with me. I guess you can say with age comes wisdom!


My Son, who is now grown and has 3 kids of his own, used to love to catch the little bugs in a jar and place it on his nightstand. He would go to sleep watching the little bugs flashing their lights. I would go into his room after he feel asleep and get the jar and take it outside and return the little creatures to their destination, placing the jar back on his nightstand. The next morning he would jump up and look for his precious bugs. I would tell him that the sandman took them with him so that my Son could catch some more. His 2 girls are afraid of them and his youngest, which is a boy, isn't old enough to go bug hunting yet. Oh I guess another childhood memory gone to the wayside.


I'll share this little poem with you written by Lilian Moore entitled, If you catch a firefly:


If you catch a firefly
            and keep it in a jar
You may find that
            you have lost
A tiny star.
If you let it go then,
            back into the night,
You may see it
            once again
Star bright.

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