A jar of fireflies by Dale Hudjik

Published on 7 October 2003 in Reflections (Please wait)

I was a very curious child who loved nature and, for some reason, insects – all kinds of insects: beetles, butterflies, and bees. I even loved those “bugs” that are not quite insects: spiders, earthworms, pill bugs and worse.

I remember reading books about insects and there I found my favorite insect – the firefly. I never did see a firefly as a child. I lived in a colder part of the world, and there weren’t any fireflies, or at least any that I had seen.

But although I never saw any, they captured my imagination. To me they were luminaries carrying dreams from distant warm parts of the world. I always wanted to see one, or better yet to have a jar full of them that I could keep up on my desk to look at in the night.

I was sick as a child and I always seemed to be much sicker in the night than in the daytime. When I was sick I would look into the dark of my room and imagine having a jar of fireflies to comfort me.

Now time has gone by and things have changed. I have been fortunate to travel and have many adventures.

On one of them, I went across Honduras in small, overly crowded buses. By the village of Copán Ruinas, near an ancient hieroglyphic stairway, I had stingless bees crawl on my hands absorbing my warmth in the cold morning mountain air.

In La Ceiba I saw a museum with thousands of insects on display, some of them fireflies from around the world.

But, finally, to my delight, in the small town of Trujillo by a Caribbean beach I saw an entire milky way of fireflies flashing in the warm humid night air!

I will tell you my best experience last. When I grew up, I got over being sick and was able to enjoy all of these things without hindrance.

Although I have visited and lived in many warm places, I currently live in the North and my only wish is that I could see fireflies more often.

Dale Hudjik (Edmonton, Canada)

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