Last night I saw a firefly. In the early hours of the morning, halfway between midnight and dawn, in that quiet time when everything is dark and still and almost anything seems possible, I looked out the window of my equally dark and quiet house and I saw a firefly. One, tiny, zigzagging streak of light flashed its way across my backyard, and I held my breath.
Several months ago, just after dusk, I saw four or five all in a cluster, flashing between the trees in a dark corner of the yard. I stood frozen, watching them until they were gone, remembering when the night sky was full of fireflies. Country or city, they were there, putting on a little magic show in the dark.
I took them for granted once upon a time, never knowing that one day the sight of just one, alone in the night, would be very special and rare. And as I watched my solitary firefly dancing alone in the dark I wondered how soon before they became legends–stories told by grandfathers to their grandchildren of magic we were once able to hold in our hands–gone now. Treasures disappearing from our landscape, along with bees and monarchs. And we just watch them go.