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Lightnin' bugs

I sometimes wonder how my friends and I managed to stay outdoors so long in the summertime when we were kids. I don't believe it's really that much hotter now, but it doesn't seem you can get into your car or walk any distance in the sun for very long before your pores begin pouring forth nature's coolant, and your brain begins to shut down.

I know I often got sunburned when I was young, so I guess the heat didn't bother us that much. Enjoying the great outdoors and an accompanying self-awareness came early. I vividly remember my first sweat ... when I first became aware of those little beads of perspiration spreading across my arm. Sometimes it was uncomfortable, but the occasional cool breezes against the wet back of my t-shirt was welcome, although all too often resulting in a cold and chills later on.

It wasn't long before I realized that I cast a shadow. I had fun with it and I attempted to try (again and again) to outrace it. I almost did once. I soon realized all things had shadows, and I developed the good sense to find a cool and shady patch of grass now and then, either under a tree or on the side of the house. I was learning ... and growing up.

I eventually stopped trying to outrace my shadow, but my dreams raced on. Our little patches of shady cool green grass or dirt were always welcome retreats when it was just too hot to have fun in the sun. But we played and told stories in the shade. Under the house was even cooler (most houses in Louisiana were built on blocks due to flooding), especially when it rained. I was fun to lay on our stomachs under the edge of the house and watch the rain, until the water began to creep toward us and chase us inside.

And then there was sundown, and starry nights (light pollution was still years away) and, of course, catching Lightnin' bugs, as we called them---fireflies to some. I think it was said by Steinbeck that all great men were once boys who wished for the moon and caught fireflies. They grow up and realize that they wouldn't have the moon if they could have it and give up on catching fireflies too.

I haven't seen any lightning bugs in a long time, but I wish I had. I already gave the Moon away a long time ago, but the lightning bugs would still be nice.


( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
Aug. 17th, 2005 04:55 am (UTC)
I once quipped to a friend that this time of year makes us avoid daylight as much a vampire. Yes the evening is warm but its not as horrendous as the middle of the day.

*sends you cool water*
Aug. 17th, 2005 04:59 am (UTC)
By the way
thanks for the pralines!
Aug. 17th, 2005 07:25 pm (UTC)
Re: By the way
Everyone has been most kind and cordial to me. It was my pleasure. What better way to say thanks than with butter, cream and sugar, the real "trinity." I hope everyone enjoyed them and that no one is hypoglycemic. If anyone is experiencing sugar withdrawels and is climbing the walls today, I do humbly apologize.
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )

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