This afternoon when I went to pick up Lilia at school, she started going on about fireflies. Earlier, a teacher had shown the kids a firefly she’d caught near her house. She showed them photos and explained all about fireflies and their semaphores. Lilia insisted on having one more look at the photos posted in the hallway before going home.
After dinner, she managed to convey something about fireflies to her father and he suggested that we go have a look. Firefly-viewing, like moon-viewing and cherry-blossom-viewing, is one of those time-honored Japanese traditions, but in all my years in Japan, I’ve never gone in search of flickers in the night. Fireflies remind me of lazy, barefoot summers in Michigan, and of Mason jars with holes punched in the lids. We caught them and made lanterns of our cupped hands.
Tonight, we piled into the car and Yoshi drove to a wooded area along a stream. It was very dark and we could hear frogs bellowing. It wasn’t long before we saw a tiny flash. Then, we found a spot with entire constellations of fireflies. We didn’t get close enough to catch any, but Lilia shouted with delight. She told me that she likes firefly-viewing better than her Nintendo DS.