In my childhood, one of the most fascinating sights for me at night were fireflies or jugnu. We lived in a small city, with lush greenery. Verdant hedges were inhabited by butterflies, dragonflies, grasshoppers, reptiles, including sun-basking chameleons, and a million critters like centipede. These dense, dark bushes would glow with fireflies and the night would fill with crickets chirping in harmony.
As is usually done to amuse children, we were shown how to capture fireflies in match boxes. Of course, they stopped glowing in captivity. For me, this has been a resounding motif that speaks about not interfering with the nature of things.
Our human temperament demands us to be in control and be masters of everything we find attractive, charming, and beautiful. However, wisdom lies in letting go.
We cannot own and master everything. We cannot and should not attempt to capture every fascinating thought, concept, object, or being. We cannot always work against destiny. Sometimes we have to trust the process. Most importantly, we have to leave Nature, and the fireflies, alone. The dragon flies, too, for they are not tiny helicopters to capture and play with!
The following lines are inspired by these musings and fond longing for fireflies.
Firefly storms convey
Sheer brilliance of
Coloring musky nights
A million sparkles
Glimmers of hope
Let them dance, float
Don’t touch them yet
Don’t stop the trail
Just let them glow
Let them lead the way