Almost two decades ago I took a marine biology class that field-tripped to Puerto Penasco, Sonora, Mexico to spend our days gazing into tide pools. That is where I learned about bioluminescent animals and organisms, and that those organisms are why the ocean sparkles at night. Standing by a bonfire on the beach looking at the night water, the smallest beings creating such vast beauty had a big impact on me. The ocean can sparkle on its own, with no moon.
I thought about it this week when I visited my CSA's distribution pretty late in the evening. The dense show of fireflies over the fields was absolutely stunning, second only to one summer evening I spent in a field thick with fireflies in the mountains of North Carolina. My insistence on comparing the view to laser light shows (events usually accompanied by Pink Floyd's "Dark Side of the Moon") made me laugh at myself. It is so beautiful and fascinating that I'm only able to absorb the information by comparing it to something much flatter, and made by humans.
Growing up in the sunset-rich Sonoran desert, I'm familiar with this absorption issue: Visitors almost always look at the spectacular sunsets for 10 seconds, take a picture, and spend hours looking at the photographic image of that sunset.
This weekend also came with holiday fireworks. I think that because of the fireflies, I was more open to the fireworks this year. Instead of looking and sounding to me like a simulation of war, I was reminded more of fairy dust and making wishes by blowing on dandelions. I saw a woman wearing sparkling lotion over her whole face and her hair and neck and clothes. Though I don't think I'll be purchasing any of this lotion, I understand the desire to glitter. Who wouldn't want to be a part of the world of the fireflies, the world of the ocean organisms, and be able to shine instead of just reflect?
Jul 6, 2008
fireworks or war?
This image (from ayres no graces') is sortof how I feel about fireworks. I'm sortof scared of them, freaked out by all the war noise, which, when we're honest, is what they're meant to evoke (see The Unapologetic Mexican). Most years I'm paranoid or grouchy or both, and lock my scared cats up in the house with my scaredy cat self during fireworks. Read this hilarious post on tiny cat pants about a fireworks accident this year, which made me feel sane for hiding out. (Wait, or is it the drunk straight people I'm hiding from?) Anyway, ran into this bit from last year when, apparently, I was feeling bolder: