We went back to Richland County for a family reunion this weekend: a low-key, potluck picnic-at-the-pond kind of thing on Sunday afternoon. The reunion itself was fine (though the kids and I couldn’t stay very long because of commitments back in Kent), but I especially appreciated the opportunity to be reunited with the experience of a “summer night on the farm” on the preceding evening.
It was a beautiful summer night: cool, quiet, sweeping views of the setting sun, lightning bugs flickering just above the fields of soy, corn, and grass. Marci’s father had kept some simple fireworks on hand to share with the kids, and we all enjoyed swooping across the yard, spitting sparks, and signing our names in light — though I couldn’t figure out how to slow down the exposure time on my smartphone camera, to capture the experience (photographs never do justice to these sorts of experiences anyway).
After the fireworks were spent, we decided to catch some lightning bugs.
We used to be so impressed by these insects when we first moved back from Europe, but now it’s become commonplace and easy to forget how magical these creatures really are.
With some help from the grown-ups, each kid managed to capture a jar-full, and then they put the crude “nightlight” on their bedside tables to flit and flicker as they drifted off to sleep (to be released back into the wild in the morning).
Summers on the farm are so lovely: so full of life and light. Weekends like this one pass so quickly, but we’re grateful for them while they last.