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Fireflies… Lightning Bugs…

Posted on : 25-06-2010 | By : Dawn | In : Uncategorized

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The flashing crystals inside this geode bracelet remind me of firefly light.

The band mimics the motion of firefly flight as quality glass beads on fine silver wire are crochet into a 3-dimensional flow of drifting sparkles.

Warm summer night air is filled with floating lights…

Firefly.  Lightning Bug.  Lampyridae.

Inspiration.  Communication.  Illumination.

This bioluminescent beetle creates intermittent flashes of light in varying colors & patterns unique to each subspecies: yellow, green, or pale red drifting sparks.  Some species synchronise their flashes.  Its light is created by oxidation of luciferin in a nearly heatless chemical reaction.

Ancient Aztecs viewed the lights as flashes of truth in a dark universe.

Native American Ojibwa legend tells of rambuncious thunderbird youths playing lacrosse with a ball of lightning, which shook stars from the sky. The stars shattered when they hit the earth. Thus, lightning bugs were created.

Oriental folklore tells of the light of captured fireflies in summer & moonlight reflected off snow in winter, used by hardworking students to study through the night.  Such diligence is celebrated in a traditional song sung to the tune of Aud Lang Syne,  Hotaru no hikariThe Light of the Firefly.  In Japan, this song is often sung at farewells: graduations, New Year’s Eve, & the end of the day.  The opening verse begins:  Many suns and moons spent reading, Years have gone by without notice, Day has dawned; This morning, we part.

A Japanese children’s song Hotaru koi – Firefly, Come follows the insect rhythm, as it tells of fireflies beside water.  Here is a short but thoroughly charming video of preschool children singing this song, as their teacher holds a traditional water dipper and gestures.  Go to: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9SqmCWRTFzA&feature=email

This next video of Hotaru no hikari is a remarkable, mesmerizing, sophisticated, a capella version.  By scrolling down, you can read the words & translation.  Notice that the first line of the song is the same as the previous children’s song.  Click on: www.YouTube.com/watch?v=1rxZzm8tzss

When several fireflies flash at the same time in the same space, it looks like a new constellation & plays games with my sense of perspective!


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