Musings: Light

Today’s topic is: “Write a post inspired by this word: Light.”

Ever wonder about my writing process? Well, here’s the super-simple method I use when I need to become inspired by a single word. I begin by thinking of the word and writing down everything that pops into my head. It can be obvious, simple, or convoluted. It doesn’t need to be logical; it just needs to relate in some tiny way. I continue this brain-dump (I’m pretty sure that’s the technical term for it) until a word or phrase strikes me as being ‘the one’! Then I simply start writing about that. Voila, inspiration on demand!

Here we go… “LIGHT”… Nightlight. Bright stars. Fresh lemons. Interior lights in Hawkeye. Sunshine. Bud Light. Singing birthday card. Flashlight. Sugar-free. Hen house. Ottlite. A light breeze. A light drizzle. Lighthouse. Hope. Sneezing. Balloons. Yoga breathing. Candles. Morning. Sunrise. Sunset. Pastels. Fireflies!! (There it is! That’s the topic I didn’t know I was looking for.)

firefly

When I think of the word “light”, I am reminded of an amazing video I saw last summer on my favorite television program, CBS Sunday Morning. Lee Cowan traveled to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in Tennessee to capture the stunning light display of the synchronous firefly Photinus carolinus.

“It’s as if the stars have come to settle in the forest.” – Lee Cowan

If you haven’t seen the segment, it is worth watching. And if you’re anywhere near Tennessee in late May – late June, be sure to check out this magnificent display of nature’s beauty for yourself. It’s near the top of my bucket list, so maybe I’ll see you there!

I don’t pretend to be a bug lover (‘entomomania’: an abnormal love of insects) and I wouldn’t go so far as to say I have a severe fear of bugs (‘entomophobia’). In truth, I’m more of a bug avoider (maybe I can coin the term ‘entomoaversaria’). Intellectually, I understand that insects play an important role in the ecosystem and I appreciate their many contributions to our well-being. But I am also a firm believer that they belong outside. (Even my young daughters know my rule: “No bugs allowed in my house!”) Everyone is happiest when they stay in their habitat and I stay in mine.

But for some mysterious reason, I have always been enchanted by the twinkling allure of fireflies. (I’m also a geek at heart and absolutely adore the space-pirate adventures on Joss Whedon’s Firefly!! But that’s another topic entirely.) In July 2011, I wrote about the magic of being back in the country after many years of city living.

“I remember seeing lightning bugs when I was a kid growing up in the backwoods of northern Vermont. So when they started to appear in the front yard (and over the fields and in the trees) around dusk this evening, I had an overwhelming urge to catch some in a jar, the way my sister and I had many years ago.

If the neighbors had been watching at just the right moment, they could have seen me (a grown woman) hopping around the yard, flailing my arms wildly, and continually rushing to the front porch to put a captured beetle into a mason jar. I’m sure it was quite a sight and honestly, it was just as much fun as I remembered! This playful activity transported me back thirty years. I was absolutely giddy.

While catching them was the easy part, trying to get a photograph of them lighting up turned out to be nearly impossible. Seventy snapshots later, only a handful were in focus and just two showed evidence of their brief, magical illumination. Giving up on capturing a decent picture, I released them back into the wild, to add their little glow to the beautiful twinkle of the yard.”

 

 

What does the word “light” make you think of? Share your thoughts in the comments.

~ Phoebe DeCook

(P.S. If you missed previous Musings, you can binge-read from the beginning.)

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