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Saturday, March 28

Childhood Memory: Enchanted Evening

I have many happy memories of my childhood on the farm here in southern Ontario. Those were the days of hard work but when the work day was finally over and our chores done for the day, it was time for a bit of fun. In summer, my brother and I were always outdoors. Here is my memory of one thing that we used to do.
Enhanted Evening

My brother and I run from the house. The sweet fragrance of freshly mown hay drifts on the evening breeze. The whack of the screen door, slamming behind us, lets us know that we are in for a scolding when we return. We race across the damp grass, raindrops from an earlier storm soaking our bare feet. The smooth, hard glass of the jars we hold is cool against our skin. Laughter echoes over the hollow, rebounding from the distant hills as we make our way toward the marshy pond across the road.

The long, soft grass brushes our legs, tickling, as we move toward the basin. The tiny, twinkling lights at the pond’s mossy edge, urge us on. As we wade deeper, mud sucks at our toes and oozes between them—our jars swoop to and fro in our attempt to catch the elusive fireflies. After several tries, we have each captured a few tiny fairy lights. We quickly screw the tin lids onto the jars, metal from the air holes scraping rough against our hands.

Time passes. The glow of the twilight deepens and turns to darkness. The full moon casts beams of light that dance on the rippling surface of the water. We lay back, the dampness seeping through our clothes, cool and refreshing after the hot, humid day. Not a care is given to the yellowish-green stains that will have to be scrubbed until they vanish. We have eyes only for the flickering fireflies that zigzag over the water, gently lapping at our feet.

The rustle of flapping wings draws our attention—then silence. A great gray owl glides, wings outstretched, on the wind currents, its silhouette vivid in the soft, golden glow of the moon. Then, a sharp chirp, chirp, chirp, and a bat glides by searching out a feast of buzzing mosquitoes.

No words are spoken. We lie in complete silence, listening to the night sounds. Bullfrogs thrum from across the marsh. A nightingale chits somewhere in the stark stand of trees to the north that tower against the night sky. In the distance, a train’s wheels click-clack on the rails. The engine nears the crossing. The mournful whistle wails a shrill warning.

We roll onto our stomachs, the cool moisture soaking us, to watch the spirited fairy lights in their glass cages. The fireflies dance feverishly trying to escape their translucent prison.

Dad’s voice carries faintly over the breeze. The moment has ended. We twist the tops off the jars and allow our captives their flight to freedom. They dart away into the humid, night air, becoming lost in the dozens of other sparkling lights over the bog.

We speed, like arrows, through the dewy grass and up the lane, gravel digging into the tender flesh of our feet. We pay no attention to the biting cinders and sharp stones. In our minds, we’re back at the pond, still wrapped in the magic of the enchanted evening.

I hope you've enjoyed traveling back to the evenings of my childhood. Enjoy the rest of the weekend. ~Blessings, Mary~

27 comments:

  1. I enjoyed reading this - I was transported back in time!

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  2. You almost made me cry........ I so remember the cool evenings at Grandma home when me and my two brother would run to the creek behind the house and walk for miles in the water and laugh and catch crawdads....... We would stay out all day and come home to fried chicken and biscuits and gravy....... then as the sun went down it was out into the yard to catch fire flies and tell stories while laying on our backs and counting the stars......... how lovely are those memories..........

    You have taken me back to a beautiful time.......

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  3. Wonderful memories well written. It brought back some good ones for me as well.

    I love the slide show of the swans - beautiful.

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  4. Yes, we caught fireflies in jars too..but never lay down in the dark near a pond. We sometimes played hide and seek when our older cousins came.

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  5. Just beautiful Mary. Brings back so many carefree childhood memories.

    God bless.

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  6. That's beautiful Mary, what a lovely childhood :-)

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  7. You definitely have a way with words.

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  8. What memories you brought back for all of us.

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  9. An excellent description. You took us there.

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  10. Mary....this is so close to poetic beauty!!! I was there...with you.

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  11. mary...thank you for not only sharing your memories but also your gift of painting your words so beautifully!
    ~AM

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  12. Hi Mary,
    You have such a great way with words. I could visualize the whole summer evening that took place so long ago.
    Can you believe that I've never seen a firefly??
    xo

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  13. You can tell you're a writer, you wove a wonderful story. I remember chasing fireflies (or lightning bugs, as we called them) We would catch them and they tickled as they crawled through our fingers to freedom.

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  14. Good AFternoon Mary,
    I so enjoyed reading your story of you adn your brother from days gone by. I have always loved the smell of fresh cut grass myself. Soemthing about it jut makes the air smell so fresh and clean to me. Our girls used to catch Fireflies when they were smaller and stayed all night with my Parents. They would put them in plastic peanut butter jars and add grass to them and bring them home to show Mommy and Daddy. Those days are long gone now, but I still have memories of that. The girls made it home eqrlier and I am now washing up their dirty clothes getting them ready to start back to School in the morning. Take care my friend and have a Blessed Sunday. May GOD BLess you and yours.
    Love,
    Karen H.

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  15. That could have been me and my brothers:-) We also use to go to the creek near our house and catch us some fireflies (I always said they were faeries) and we'd watch them dance in the jars. I so loved your childhood memory, dear Mary, I'm now picturing it all in my mind and it puts a smile on my lips. xoxo

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  16. Loved this memory Mary!! Very close to my childhood summertime memories. Oh what fun there was to be had on those kinda nights.

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