I keep wandering out in the shadows of the backyard, staring across the tassels of the high grass beyond the iron gate, hoping for early fireflies. You cannot rush this festival of lights. Two years ago, the first firefly was a solitary traveler, grounded at my feet on a chilly 4th of June. The next week they winked and drifted in their meandering thousands out over the field and through the branches of the apple trees beneath a starlit sky. For a few magic weeks there are fairies at the bottom of the garden, to be cupped in wondering hands and then released to rejoin the dance. I never tire of them, these swamp candles and wisp lights, a fresh delight with every viewing.
All too soon the mower makes its annual circuit of the old field in the second week of July, the apex of summer. But now, with pink and yellow lady slippers in their glory, berry blossoms and swooning bees on every bush and vine, flower beds bursting with blue-eyed spiderwort and iris spears tipped with indigo, the cusp of June is sweet expectancy. And I wait, out here where bats flitter to music only they can hear, and there are no cicadas yet to drone away the golden dregs of summer, waiting for the fireflies come.