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P J Lewis

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Lightening Bug Nights
By P J Lewis
Posted: Tuesday, April 22, 2014
Last edited: Thursday, May 08, 2014
This short story is rated "G" by the Author.

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Recent stories by P J Lewis
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Memories of 50 years of marriage that are all I have now.
We built the cabin ourselves, from rough sawn lumber harvested from our own trees. Red rocking chairs on the long screened porch gave us a comforting sense of continuity with our past. My grandmother had such a porch. I was aware of her each time I sat there. My husband always held my hand, for he was a romantic man. Our own repetitious acts had written the script. It was always the same. As the sun began his descent into the calm waters of the lake, each actor stepped out upon the stage at the appointed cue. The family of squirrels appeared from their day of foraging, raced along the branches ahead of the night and disappeared into their nest. Myriad species of birds called frantically to each other, warning of the necessity of speed in seeking shelter for the night. The day sank into the abyss of time while we sat in our rocking chairs, waiting for the grand climax of the production. Crickets took up their chorus right on cue. Tree frogs filled the soprano section of the nocturnal choir. From the muddy edges of the lake massive bull frogs took up the beat and the night was alive with music. Silent and still, we squeezed each other's hand and waited. We strained to see into the blackness. What if they didn't come? "Don't think that way!" we admonished each other. Our voices sank to a whisper. We drew close, leaned toward each other. Our lips touched in a sweet moment of youthful desire, then again, drawing deeply from the well of our long life together. Suddenly, we are aware of a wondrous awe, a fragile moment of wonder. We know we must hold this moment. We must absorb it into our very souls. We cannot allow the morning light to bring forgetfulness, for it may never come again. We have become one with the night. Our spirits are touching, then blending in a unity long desired, but always just out of reach. We turned as one to gaze into the velvet blackness outside the cabin. We see them! They twinkle and sparkle. They flit about capriciously, oblivious of their audience and surely directed by a higher power. They are unaware of the magic they have brought to us. We are alive! We are children, racing about with our fruit jars, stumbling in the night, chasing the lights. We wanted to capture that light for ourselves. We wanted to put it in a jar and look at it in the light of day. We wanted to uncover the mystery of the source of the light. Though we examined them carefully, we could not understand how the lightening bugs produced their light. As childhood slipped away, the times of total abandonment to pure joy became so rare we forgot they ever existed. Lightening bug nights were only memories stored in a forgotten cubicle from the past. The cabin had brought it all back in a rush of sweet pain. We became addicted to the emotional high that lifted us out of our adult bodies and swept us into the wonder and pure joy of childhood again. Without effort we had found a way back into simplicity and wonder. We returned again and again, shedding our garments of duty and responsibility when we took our places in the red rocking chairs. Tonight, I will sit there again. I'll watch the sun sink into the lake as always. I'll see the squirrels race to their nest. I'll be swept up into the nocturnal symphony, soaring out of my pain and sorrow and into the starry sky. Perhaps I will feel his hand reach for mine once again. I will close my eyes and remember the touch of his lips and the fragrance of him. When I open my eyes, they will be there, I know. Tonight will be different. Tonight I will go out into the midst of the twinkling bodies. I will capture one of them in my fruit jar with the holes punched in the top. I will hold it in my hand. I will absorb the wonder and miracle of God's creative powers into my soul. I will become a child again, full of wonder and awe. Then, I will let it go into the night once again. Though I tell everyone I have lost my husband, I know where he is. He's there, in the woods, under the trees where he loved to be. He's there, with his dad and his mom, waiting for the day that will bring us together again in a joyful reunion. There will be no parting there, no sorrows to bear, no tears and no pain. My future is uncertain today, my heart overwhelmed with sorrowful longing for what once was, but wherever God takes me, the images and joy of the lightening bug nights will go with me and the One who created such a miracle will shine His everlasting light on my path and He will hold my hand. He will provide for my needs and heal my broken heart. I am not alone. Patsy Lewis        

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Reviewed by Ronald Hull 4/23/2014
Well written and very descriptive from what I've experience of the same. I wouldn't have ended it that way.

I read once that fireflies were endangered… Not by children catching them and forgetting to let them go before they died, but from researchers' experiments, using great quantities of them to try to determine how to make light from nature. Thank goodness it was satire.


Books by
P J Lewis

The Morning of the White Stone

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The Sins of Boggy Creek

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