It started about a week ago, the light battering against the front door as soon as the sky darkens and the porch light snaps on. Those fat, hard-shelled bodies pile up like driftwood, their legs bent at awkward angles, their movements dulled from blunt force trauma. No matter how hard they try, they never reach the promised land of light.
In another week or so, the male fireflies will emerge from wherever it is they hide, stretch their wings in the dusky evening, and flit over the field, searching for love in all the right and wrong places. Those little lanterns in their tummies will flick and flame. The females will wait coyly, not blessed with such visual displays of sexual readiness, until the right one comes along. Sometimes, when the night grows long and the pulsing wears thin, I wonder if the odyssey brings an appropriate reward. Do all the lighted repositories of reproduction find a host, or do the wallflower flies hang out together, uncertain of their next move?
Once before, I wrote a column about this. I wondered if I was a June bug or a firefly. Now, farther along my writing journey, I realize I am both. Each day I sit at my computer and batter away at the door between me and the light of publication. Sometimes I perceive a crack in the wall of rejection and wiggle through to find publication awaiting. Other days, I am the firefly, winking my interior sun in patterns I hope will attract that rarest of creatures – success.
Each of us is blessed with opportunity. It hangs out there in the void, a light that flares and fades just out of reach. Each of us must decide how hard to pursue that elusive goal. Will I batter, fly, or flutter to a stop. I guess I’d rather end up with a concussion than snug in a lonely bed of regrets.
Shine on, fireflies! Bumble away, bugs! Life is waiting for those who risk the flight…