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One Firefly Night

Last night, just after dusk, I sat on the back porch taking in the sounds of nature. There were a few crickets and some bird who didn’t know not to sing after sun down. It was all garden variety, until my eye caught a green blink…blink…blink. A firefly!

Hyper-focused, I tried to guess where the micro flash would come next. Over by the storage shed, near the silhouette of a tree, surely this little guy has company!

But there was only one. A single firefly blinked a few times. And then it was gone.

A one firefly night.

It happened so fast, I didn’t get the chance to share it with anyone. I ran inside to tell my wife, “Sweetheart, I just saw a firefly. ONE firefly! I think I’ll name him Frosty.”

“Frosty?”, she said.

“Yes, after Robert Frost. You know, the poet who wrote, Nothing Gold Can Stay?

I then quoted, unprompted, one of my favorite poems:

Nature’s first green is gold,

Her hardest hue to hold.

Her early leaf’s a flower;

But only so an hour.

Then leaf subsides to leaf.

So Eden sank to grief,

So dawn goes down to day.

Nothing gold can stay.

Robert Frost

A single lightning bug–arguably, the most beautiful but fragile of God’s creatures, lives in the words of a famous poet, but also in the heart’s cry of Psalm 43.

Why are you cast down, O my soul? And why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God; for I shall yet praise Him, the help of my countenance and my God.

Psalm 43:5

Nothing Gold Can Stay.

The scripture, the poem, and the firefly: each say life is GUARANTEED to change. It’s beyond our total control; all one can do is prepare for the inevitable.

Depressing? Perhaps. The free acceptance of an unknown future CAN be.

But you and I know who holds the future.

Put your hope in God; for I will yet praise Him.

This post first appeared on my blog in June of 2019. But, would you believe, the same thing happened the other night?! One firefly appeared in my back yard, blinked a time or two, and then was gone.

By davidsdailydose

I'm just a regular guy who was
tempted to lose all hope but did not. It was God who made the difference.

39 replies on “One Firefly Night”

A poignant post, David–well worth sharing again! After forty years in FL with nary a firefly, I’m delighted to be back in the Midwest where dozens dance upwards into the trees every night, cheerily blinking their golden lights–for about six weeks. As Robert Frost so aptly said, “Nothing gold can stay.” But for Christians, as golden as this life may be, the best and most beautiful time is yet ahead, and will last for eternity! NOT depressing at all!

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How did I miss this lovely reflective post this weekend? Sorry for the late response David. I read this on a sad morning after learning of the death of a dear friend and neighbour; our mortal bodies are but lights for a short season – thank God for an Eternity with Him.

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Oh, I have some of my happiest childhood memories of my cousins and I catching fireflies in jars and watching them blink on and off. How disappointed I was in the morning to discover they were just bugs! Yet just as you point out, our little moment of blinking is held in the hand of our loving God. We might be ordinary, but we are His!

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The fireflies here in southwest Oklahoma are not nearly as abundant as they used to be.

You’re absolutely right. Nothing, good or bad, seems to hang Aron’s for long.

Thank you for reading and commenting, Simply B. God Bless!

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Where I live the fireflies are abundant. And beautiful to see from a bit of distance. The other evening while sitting on our deck one insisted on flying right in front of me and actually hovered right near my head for quite some time. Never experienced that before. A little unnerving, but ultimately brief. Your words are encouraging and wise, as usual. And my brief up close encounter with a firefly tells me that the unnerving scary parts of life can’t stay, either. Not just the gold. It’s all so very brief. As you say, we know who holds the future. Therein lies our hope. Have a beautiful Saturday!

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“Depressing? Perhaps. The free acceptance of an unknown future CAN be.

But you and I know who holds the future.”

We do indeed!!

Brilliant post. Utterly wonderful – I always think of fireflies as not real. They just seem so impossible! And, yet, they are another great example of God’s handiwork and delicate touch in creation.

Andy B

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I wish we had more fireflies where we live. Perhaps it’s too hot here?
Your right, this story would make a good children’s book. Kids are effected by life trauma, just like adults. And we can’t always shield them from it. Perhaps it’s better to them how to face life’s unexpected turns a little at a time. Thank you, Beth! God Bless.

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Beautiful! Yes, everything changes – something we resist. Perhaps we are longing for heaven when everything will be made – and stay – perfect. How do we deal with this fear of change? By trusting Him who goes into the future with us. The One of who will never leave us or forsake us. The One who has promised us that all things work together for those who belong to God 🙂

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David, from title to conclusion all I could think was this could be a powerful children’s book. You even have a name for the main character- Frosty. One of my favorite childhood activities was racing around the yard with my brother seeing who could catch the most fireflies. As a mom, I was so very glad we lived in a place where my girls could have the same experience. When I take Adi out for her last outing of the night, I usually sit for a bit and enjoy the fireworks of fireflies over and around our trees.

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So true, Betty. “Play the cards you are dealt,” sounds a little depressing—especially if it’s a bad hand—but what else are we supposed to do? I enjoy your positive, upbeat but realistic, approach to life. “Focus on the roses, not the thorns,” my grandmother used to say. And, as a farmer’s wife, she had plenty of thorns to worry over. I hope you and Dan enjoy your day. Here’s hoping your Yellowstone trip can still be a reality.

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David, when it comes to much poetry, I scratch my head. But I “get” this poem and others of Robert Frost. While “nothing gold can stay” may sound depressing at first thought, perhaps another thought is to be grateful for the gold when it is there. Like you are when you see a single firefly. Psalm 9:1 I will give thanks to you, Lord, with all my heart. I will tell of all your wonderful deeds.
(Confession – I used Google for help to find a verse.)

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That’s a welcome thought, Mandy. It’s a good idea to preach the Good News to ourselves! One more week of summer school to go. Good has helped me to be a good administrator, but sometimes I worry over things I should leave to Him. Thank you for reading and commenting. God’s best to you, Nathan, and your sweet little 🐶 dog.

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Thank you, Bridget. When the one fire fly episode repeated itself, I knew I needed to dust off this old post. On top of this, our Schnauzer has been a 100 % insulin dependent diabetic for the past 2 1/2 years. Anyway, this past month his blood sugar levels have shot up considerably, and we are struggling to keep him regulated. I know, it’s not major life trauma—like some folks are going through right now— but it’s a concern for us.

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Lloyd-Jones in one of his books used Psalm 43 as a reminder that we are to preach the Good News to ourselves when our soul is down cast. Praise God for seeing one lightning bug (firefly). They are truly unique!!!! Great post, David! How’s summer school?!

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Life is but a vapor then it’s gone! So privileged to chosen to live in such a time as this! Will I have made a difference while I pass these fleeting moments!

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