Sometimes, out of nowhere, it comes back,
that night when, driving home from the city,
having left the nearest streetlight miles behind us,
we lost our way on the back country roads
and found, when we slowed down to read a road sign,
a field alive with the blinking of fireflies,
and we got out and stood there in the darkness,
amazed at their numbers, their scattered sparks
igniting silently in a randomness
that somehow added up to a marvel
both earthly and celestial, the sky
brought down to earth, and brought to life,
a sublunar starscape whose shifting constellations
were a small gift of unexpected astonishment,
luminous signalings leading us away
from thoughts of where we were going
or coming from, the cares that often drive us
relentlessly onward and blind us
to such flickering intervals when moments
are released from their rigid sequence
and burn like airborne embers, floating free.
“Interval” by Jeffrey Harrison, from Feeding the Fire. © Sarabande Books, 2001. Reprinted with permission.
Happy summer evenings — why do we forget to look at small things when we get older? I think when we get too old to appreciate the world around us — we have “seen it all” — that’s when we truly get old.