Narrative on a Walk, June 12, 2007

I went on a walk today. Two, if we are to be technical, because I went out earlier this evening with Cameron to discuss a bit of cyberpunk plot that was running through my head. The walk we are to be speaking of, though, happened later at night, and was less talkative.

I left the house thinking to see stars, turned down Centerville Rd, and walked until the lights and houses petered out, leaving me alone in the dark. As I had thought, the sky was beautiful. It was a new moon, I think. Either that or the lunar circle was hidden behind the trees. The sky was dark except on the edges, which were a navy blue, and the stars had come out to play–not too bright, and the Milky Way had stayed behind to watch the celestial house, but the little dots in the sky were in full bloom.

I found what few constellations I knew (the Big Dipper in the summer. I can find Orion, but he hides when the whether turns warmer. Maybe he’s an eskimo?), but was surprised when another dot of light appeared right in front of my face. Distracted from the sky a moment, I looked around.
About half a mile up the street from my house, the woods and street lamps and houses give way to a big field populated by tiny evergreens, the occasional apple tree, and very prickly grass, and it was here I had ended up. Firefly, I realized as I turned myself about, blinking as the afterimage of the flash receded in my sight.

Except there wasn’t just the one. As I looked around, making the shift from watching for static points of light tracing the moving flashes, I saw the fields around me littered with the little things. I took to watching them, remembering how as a boy I would run out during summer nights with a jar and catch the bugs, making myself an improvised lamp that might (if the fireflies were lucky) have holes in the lid. I caught one for old time’s sake, cradling it in cupped palms. It was a boy, I think, because it made quick, rapid flashes. The girls make slower, sexier flashes, and they try to find one another like that. But then, I might have the genders mixed. In any case, after a few minutes of exploring my hand, the firefly realized I wasn’t particularly bug-shaped, and thus not a potential mate, and flew off to in search of a more pleasurable companion for the evening.

I watched them until a jet passed over the horizon, flickering it’s lights, and in a sudden moment of confusion I couldn’t tell the field from the heavens and back again, and all I could hear was the blending of the plane engines with the croaking of a big bullfrog who was loud enough on his own to echo off the trees on the other side of the field. It was a wonderful sensation.

I stayed out there, waddling back and forth on the pavement or just lying on my back in the middle of the road until the barking of the neighborhood dogs who, despite being half a field and three houses away, could still detect my presence and still thought I was worthy of attention.

I walked back to the house and, after informing my parents that the fireflies were out and that they should go see, began to write in the new journal that dad got me. It’s a nice black one, with clean lined paper that I feel bad marring with my chicken-scratch hand writing. It’ll be my personal journal this summer. I’ve opened it with the quote from Confucius that preceded this post. I’ll document a search for wisdom in that journal, and only report here when I make significant breakthoughs. Who knows when, or even if, that’ll happen though.

Tomorrow I want to go back out for another walk. I’ll take a glass jar with me, and make sure I have holes poked in the lid.

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1 Comment

  1. Chase said,

    June 12, 2007 at 1:58 pm

    I watched a group of fireflies last night.


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