Night sets in, and there is darkness all around. It is a pitch-dark night with brief spells of rain. There is no moonlight. I feel lonely and miserable as I count the hours.
And then somewhere in that darkness, a tiny halo of light flickers. It is the halo of a firefly. It doesn’t dispel the darkness, but it comforts me.
A soothing reminder of a warm presence.
As I follow its warm glow with my eyes, it lights up the darkness in my heart. The halo is all it has to comfort me.
To make its presence felt.
To offer me something in the way of a palpable companionship.
It makes the darkness bearable. It makes the darkness beautiful.
The worm briefly settles on my palm and glows. I stand still, mesmerized by this tiny creature. The worm resumes its flight and settles on the window. I can see its tiny flicker as it moves on the window sill.
I walk towards the window and draw the curtains. I gasp as I look out. In the pitch darkness of this monsoon night, there are a million fireflies glowing.
They are all over. On the trees, on the bushes, on the grass.
They look like little decoration lights studding the trees.
The lyrics of an old song come into my mind and I find myself asking:
Into whose fantasy were conceived these mystic creatures that lit up the darkness and transformed the landscape into a fairy-tale world?
As I watched these creatures that had transformed this night into fantasy, the truth about contrasts dawned upon me:
It takes the pitch darkness of a monsoon night to bring to visibility the tiny halo of a firefly. In the darkness, I could see the abundance in its tiny glow.
Fireflies are part of my oldest memories. They are part of that beautiful world that fed my young mind with rich fantasy. I remember the times we would catch these fireflies and bottle them up in a jar, feeling rich. To own one of these mystic creatures was quite something! In the morning, we would be utterly disappointed to see unattractive little insects in the jar. It was impossible to believe that this mystic creature of the night had transformed into a worthless, unattractive creature by day!