After a weekend full of parties, including an impromptu gathering of close friends and family--(including naked babies and dogs) in my front yard, I finally had a quiet moment yesterday. The boys were asleep, Ian was closing up shop before bed, and I was staring for a long time out the back window of our long, narrow living room. The window overlooks our backyard, and I was admiring the lavender and impatiens that have grown so much in the past few weeks. Illuminated by the back porch light, these plants seemed to be in the spotlight, while the shadows of my vegetable garden loomed large, threatening a full takeover of the yard. I wouldn't argue with it.
The window was wide open, and I felt like one of my children, leaning against the back of the couch, listening for crickets that just don't seem to be chirping too much so far this cool summer. "No crickets," I said to Ian, my back to him.
"No?" he asked, half-interested from his spot next to one of the dogs on the couch.
"Nope. Fireflies, though. A few of them."
There they were, those pretty little fireflies, flashing their light before fading into the darkness, reappearing a few feet and several seconds later. I only saw two or three fireflies in all.
"Remember when we were kids it seemed like fireflies were everywhere at night?" I asked Ian, my back still turned.
"Yep." An F1 race was still on. We had DVR'd it. I could tell without looking that his attention had never left the television.
"There aren't so many anymore. They seem to be going the way of the bees...into extinction," I remarked. Hearing myself say this made me sad.
The buzzing of F1 cars on the course in Germany was all I could hear. I leaned closer to the window. Nope. Still no crickets.
I kept watching for the fireflies, but I didn't see anymore. I sat by the window a long time, waiting. Yet not one more appeared. Murphy's Law, I guess. You wait for something and it never comes. But when you least expect it, it appears.
A while later, Ian let out the dogs, shut off the lights, and kissed me goodnight. "I'm going upstairs," he said.
"I'll be up in a minute," I said, tiredly smiling at him. I could barely keep my eyes open.
As he creaked up the stairs in our old, little house, I sat in the darkness, my back to the room. I listened for at least one cricket. I waited for just one more firefly. They never came, but at least for a little while I enjoyed the quiet of the night and the rhythm of my sleepy breathing.