Enjoying the Lights This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

March 2, 2014
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The bright yellow flashes of light from fireflies kept me awake when I was younger, and still entrance me today. The small critters are only here for a few months, but that just makes me more fascinated with them.

One year, I had nineteen of them on me at once. Another year, I managed to keep two of them in my room for about a week before my cat decided to eat them. But the best year was when I went outside to watch them even though my mother told me not to.

A few years ago, I was out enjoying a summer night with my baby brother when our mother called us back inside. I carried him in the house, and just when I was turning back to go outside again, I was told that I had to stay inside. Of course I put up a fuss and attempted to walk out of the house without any cares, but that just angered her. She sent me up to bed.

As I lay in my room staring up at the ceiling, my mind drifted to the divorce that had rocked my family earlier that summer. My mom’s sister married a man who eventually betrayed her, even though they had two young daughters and what seemed to be a lovely life. It was hard, going over to their place without him living there, because he was my favorite uncle and a major role model in my life. He taught me how to ride a bike in third grade when I was the only one in class that didn’t know how to. He helped my brothers and I build castles out of pillows and blankets. But he left us without ever saying goodbye.

Although he treated my aunt with no respect when he betrayed her, I was still upset that he was gone, and wanted to spend at least one more day with him. I had just realized that day wouldn’t come around, so I felt disappointed in myself that I didn’t appreciate the time that I had with him while he was still married to my aunt. Once I came to that conclusion, I made up my mind about another thing. Even though my mother said I couldn’t go outside to see the fireflies, I was going to sneak out to see them anyway.

I waited until I could hear her walk into her room before I walked out of mine. I quietly descended down the stairs and slowly opened up the front door. I sat down on my doorstep and simply watched the fireflies, that amber hue I loved so much, flying around in the blackness of night.

And as I watched them, I thought to myself:

I need to appreciate the moment.

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