I finally saw my first lightning bug of the summer last night. I saw it on my walk home, just at late dusk. And then another, and another. They’ve always fascinated me. I don’t recall ever putting them in jars; that would have seemed mean. But I do remember shyly cupping them in my hands, giggling as they flitted and lit, and watching them fly off again. What memories of summer.

Playing outside in the grass until dark, wondering when my parents were going to come looking and trying to play as far away as I could, so they’d have to find me, and I could play longer. We used to go to the beach, and follow the lightning bugs around, being careful not to step on the rock-crab-seaweed we couldn’t see in the receding light. There’s one. Then there. There. There. Was it the same one, making us hurry-hurry-wait…wait? Or lots of them, playing with us, with each other?

Sand has this amazing power of feeling perfect on your feet, beneath your toes. It’s almost a squish but a welcome one, not quite like mud. I used to plop down in the middle of the little playground and spread sand over my feet, burying and reburying, over and over. Make sand-cakes, trying to keep them whole until the tide came and swept them away. Or the determined combination of wet sand, dry sand, and wind, when all of a sudden my creation fell out from under itself.

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