Monday, April 12, 2010

Jars of Light (J)

I remember a time when summers were forever.
When those three months between school terms
stretched out like a slow motion movie...
...when time gathered into a bundle of memories
that is eternally tied up inside my heart like velvet ribbons...

Those days are like a childhood clock that is still ticking-
Like a faint pulse that forever whispers of hazy days gone by-
and crisp blue nights beneath the wishing stars.

When my heart travels back to a favorite time,
it always stops to savor my years as a young child.
Maybe eight...ten...
An age when the world was a giant playground.
When colors were vibrant and flowing...
Days were soft and cocoon-like...
And nights were heavy with the orchestra of crickets...

My sister Linda and I would stay out late
on those sultry summer nights-
the freshly mowed grass sticking to our bare feet
in a wet mixture of dew and dust,
our long hair tangled from the honey-suckled breeze-
and our clothes smelling of sweet sweat.

In that immense world of darkened sky,
there were tiny points of light...
flashing miracles that teased us into following...
glowing fireflies that seized our attention
and amazed our learning minds.

It was our favorite summer game-
to gather jars of light...
to capture the fireflies and make them our own.

We would poke holes in the rusty tin lid
with a stolen hammer and a crooked nail,
carefully making breathing holes
for our twinkling bugs.

And later, it would glow under our bedsheets
like a yellow-green fog-
and fill us with peaceful slumber.

Sometimes we were cruel.
(Without meaning to, of course.)

We would gently squeeze
the throbbing bellies of light
and pinch them off
in a pop and a trail of slime.
We would stick them to our fingers and wrists
to make glow-in-the-dark jewelry
that eventually faded and fell off
before the night was over.

In my adulthood,
I am still an audience of the fireflies.
I am still captured by their flicks
of silent light-
still amazed at their patterns
above the clover fields
and across the moon...

I often dream about each firefly
making it's own tune.
Blinks of musical notes
that would all combine in the night air
into a symphony of glorious sounds.

And I think to myself
how enchanting it would be
if they each were a different color.
Then spots of purple, blue, red,
green, and pink lights
would cover the sky
like splashes of radiant paint.

But I will settle for the way they are...
for their innocence and beauty everlasting.

I will always be content with my memories
of those lost summers-
that still glow inside my heart
like a silent jar of light.