All Acts of Love and Pleasure Are Rituals of the Goddess


The fireflies are back.  They return every June, like regular vacationers showing up at their mountain cabin or lakeshore campground.  They begin just after sunset, when the air has begun to cool but you can still see the garden, once your eyes adjust.

At first, there are only a few, but as the days go by (or should one say, “as the nights go by”?) there are more and more of them,   They’ll be a true mob in a few weeks and, then, they’ll begin to drift away.  By August, there will be only a few strays, still hoping to find love or, at least, lust.

One of the true pleasures of this place is to slip into the habit of going out to sit and watch them, sweet tea in hand, just before bed.  You have to stop and pay attention, watch for them out of the corner of your eye, the way you watch for fairies.  Their ballet changes every evening; one night they cluster around the magnolia trees but the next they seem to be all over the yard.  You can feel your breathing slow down, your muscles relax, your body connect to the land.

Do you have fireflies where you live?  What do you do to settle before bed?

Picture found here.



6 responses to “All Acts of Love and Pleasure Are Rituals of the Goddess

  1. I love lightening bugs and think they’re amazing. I’ve been watching them this week before bed.

  2. I look at the stars (or night sky if it’s cloudy) just to make sure the familiar constellations are still there. They usually are 😀 … then I can rest easier knowing there’s a different perspective to the galaxy than ours. 🙂

  3. Yes we have them too and they are one of the many things I adore about summer. Being dull, summer and winter my bed routine is usually a spoonful of honey, a drink of warm water, a big mug of cocoa sipped while I knit, and then read myself to sleep. This time of year I adore the stillness while I sip and knit, soon the frogs will sing all night long which is also Lovely!

  4. No fireflies here; I miss them from my childhood elsewhere. Luckily, Washington has other beauties.

  5. You’d hardly think fireflies could be scary, but one night when I was staying with my grandparents in the mountains, one was flying around the room. It had a much brighter light and moved much faster. I’ve never seen another one like that. For a long time I thought it was a faerie until I read up on fireflies.

  6. When I was 19 I went to Tennessee to play in a chess tournament, and was amazed to see fireflies for the first time. My host family’s kids graciously helped me catch some in a jar, but that night they got out of the jar and walked around on the ceiling of my room, their dotted lines turning into delirious chess calculations.
    As an adult I used to teach at Woods Hole, which has fireflies but they are few and shy: it was several years before I was sure I’d seen them.

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