Friday, June 18, 2010

Summer Night Magic

It's a lovely summer night with shades of coral still visible in the western sky. Lightning bugs are flitting about in time to their own magical tune and the little kids across the street are darting to and fro trying to catch them and ease them into a jar so they can enjoy nature's lanterns.

I remember doing the same thing. After we were suppose to be asleep I would, ever so quietly, get up, reach under the bed and pull out the jar with the lid that Daddy had fixed with air holes. You know what happened; the same thing might have happened to you, time after time. Unless more than a few got away, when I opened the jar (just to get a better look), my wonderful parents never said a word. I think my dad, in particular, understood that summer nights were magical.

When I was a kid you did not have to be on a dark beach or a mountain top to see many stars in the night sky. From our yard my father would point out the constellations and tell us the stories about them, sometimes adding his own tales to the list of myths. Dad's stories were often more fantastic and imaginative than the noted ones, and I rarely remember his telling the same one twice. But it was summer and there was magic in the air.

For some reason it was our street that the kids would usually gather in after supper. Kids from even blocks away showed up to play games under our street lights. Do you remember May I, Red Light, and Steal the Bacon? We played those and some that I can not remember at the moment. Later the kids would be summoned to their homes and I would take a deep breath, smell the fragrant honey suckle and reluctantly begin the short trek to my yard, my steps, and my porch, not wanting the evening to end. Very often Dad would meet me at the door and suggest that we sit on the front porch swing awhile and have a glass of iced tea that Mom would bring out to us. Yes, the summer nights were hot, yes, I was tired from playing, but mainly, Dad understood that I wanted to stay outside listening to the katydids, cicadae and peepers, watching the lighting bugs, and looking for that occasional shooting star, to prolong all the sights, sounds and scents that weave their threads into a magical summer night.

Daddy, I do remember and I am so thankful for you; just wish you could hear me.

photo credits:
1. fireflies - Flickr, A Delicate Mind photostream
2. stargazing - Flickr, Background Music's photostream


  1. What lovely memories. I had a firefly-less youth and have been catching up ever since.

  2. You took me back to my childhood, even made me cry a little, I so miss those Days when the world was a nicer place and growing up seemed like a Million years away!

    My Dad allowed my Siblings and I to stay out all night as well, We would lay on the grass in our yard with blankets and watch the stars as we listened to the chirping of crickets" what fond Memories..

  3. Your magical memories took me back to warm summer nights catching fireflies when we would visit my grandparents in Tennessee. For some reason we don't see them here very often in North Florida. I do hear the "frog-a-lujah" chorus in my back yard summer nights here but I have no desire to catch them, of course.

  4. What wonderful memories of magical nights and a wonderful father. Diane

  5. I am glad you are back from your trip. I hope you had a lovely time. Wonderful post.I love the nights of summer. I don't know where all the fireflies have gone.I miss their magic. I miss my gentle Daddy too. He taught me to love the stars and the night.

  6. It was a long time ago, but I remember being able to see all the stars, too. Not anymore. And I, too, remember my dad helping us catch fire flies. What a beautiful post.

  7. A beautiful Fathers Day Tribute, very moving.