Solvitur ambulando ~ It is solved by walking.  Walk I must - often, and for some distance.  It's the way songs are born, dilemma mulled, and middled-aged aged mortals pursue and preserve mobility.  I try to time my summer evening rambles so that I return home about the same time the fireflies begin their dazzling display.  Like the stars, they are old friends lighting my way forward, lighting my life, guiding me home.  Not the glare of a spotlight, but a gentle glow; assurance that total darkness, is at best, a temporary state. 

Stars move through the circle of the night in the same familiar patterns season after season.  The constellations of mythical beings that I confided in as a child are the same ones that keep council with me a half century on.   Whatever human chaos that churns and boils on the third planet from a star called, Sun, it's companions keep watch and keep time from different corners of the galaxy; a nightly reminder that we are barely a speck in unfathomable vastness.

Fireflies are lanterns illuminating remembrances of summers past; a gaggle of neighborhood children playing Captain, May I?, and Red Light Green Light in the deepening twilight, until they are summoned one after another by voices calling from unseen doors.  A painfully shy child singing at the top of her lungs to the 'lightning bugs' under the maple trees in her grandparents front yard on a warm Kentucky night.  The creak of a screen door, protesting as it swings open on 'old bones' hinges, and then bangs shut with a "Harrumph!" - a portal to a firefly soiree under a starry sky.

Fireflies have that power.  They mesmerize, hypnotize, recall things long forgotten, and people long gone.  They make you laugh out loud for the joy of remembering and weep silently for the people and places that are no more.  We have a small corner of our woods where beloved pets are buried.  One afternoon having just finished setting out flowers there, storm clouds rolled in suddenly, and everything went dark and quiet.  Then the fireflies came out - blinking and hovering over the places where our companions now rest - remembering.

Fireflies and stars have the power to free us.  After returning home one late night in July, I walked down to the field below our house to gather my thoughts before they were lost to sleep.  Once my eyes adjusted to the dark, I gasped.  There was no moon, only stars - stars above, stars below, and stars in between.  I was standing in stars.  The black, velvet sky was painted with them; stems of grass in the field and branches of overhanging trees bedecked in a profusion of blinking bioluminescence - fireflies clung to them and floated in the layers of air above.  I was no longer tethered to Earth, or time.  I was one of them - firefly or star - it mattered not. A moment in time where a crack appeared in the cosmic egg giving a glimpse into something much greater than ourselves, yet beckoning us to be a part of it.

We live our lives behind walls closed off from the very things that remind us we are not alone.  We are surrounded by self-imposed partitions that separate us from each other.  We forget we have the power to open the door, walk through, and walk forward.  Solvitur Ambulando ~ It is solved by walking.  

While working in my flower bed this spring I turned up a little larvae with a glowing tail.  I carefully returned him to his hiding place for I knew we would meet again later in the summer; perhaps at the end of an evening walk when I pause for a moment in the field below our house, and we are both standing in stars.  

 

Photo from firefly.org

Solvitur Ambulando ~ It is solved by walking - Latin saying found in several writings -
I know it from the book, The Songlines, by Bruce Chatwin

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New Release

Diane's new single, an original, finger-style guitar tune, "Afternoon By A Stream," is out now on iTunes!

You can also purchase a download directly through CD Baby on Diane's SHOP page.

 

An image of a young boy wading in a shallow stream surrounded by moss-covered, sandstone cliffs