I spent the start of summer solstice – June 20, 2020, the first day of summer – working in the gardens while renovations were going on inside. It was a hot, humid day and the air conditioning had been turned off. The smell of the lacquer that was being used on the new door was too much to bear, so the attic fan was turned on to try and get rid of the smell. While this worked, it took most of the day to get the smell out of the house, so we decided to let the attic fan run all night, since it cooled off enough to be comfortable.

Calming Influence Of Nature

With the windows open all night, the night sounds of nature lulled me to sleep. It was about one in the morning when I was awoken by a sound and while lying in bed, I realized that it sounded like a coyote.

Intrigued by the calming effect that it instilled, I sat and continued to listen. It didn’t last that long and then, needing to use the bathroom, I got out of bed. While looking out the bathroom window into the wooded area of the property, I had to blink and adjust my eyes to make sure they were not playing tricks on me. What I saw were white blinking lights all through the trees in the back by the trails.

An Awe-Inspiring Light Show

At this point, I was fully awake and so was my husband. I walked over to him and told him, “You have got to see this.” As we stepped out onto the back deck, in the pitch black of the night, the amount of white blinking lights was amazingly captivating. Still not sure what we were looking at, we were coming up with every manmade explanation that we could think of. When we exhausted all our choices, the only conclusion we could come up with were fireflies.

Those that know me and follow my posts, know that I am intrigued by the spirituality and symbolism of nature. After all, the start of Hope Grows and the idea of the Iris Respite House are deeply rooted in both. According to the Pennsylvania Wilds, Mother Nature provides a mesmerizing light show from June through July in Southwestern PA, and while this display created a sense of calm and excitement at the same time, the overwhelming feeling was peaceful, magnificent and awe-inspiring. So, I began to look for the spirituality of the firefly and stumbled upon, as we all do when we Google something, a myriad of information, about the evening insect that provided so much joy.

What is the Iris Respite House?

A Symbol of Hope

One site that I found caught my attention and provided a message of the firefly being the importance of internal character. Wow! That resonated with me during this time of unanswered questions in my life. “In addition to internal character, the light symbolizes hope, guidance, inspiration, and awakening,” and as the message continued, the more profound it was. “Listen to our heart and let the fireflies lead the way toward truth and light.”

This message echoed for me in my heart and I truly believe that the earth listens to our stories. Scientific studies are finding that trees communicate with each other, so why then can’t the Earth listen? 

A March 2018 Smithsonian Magazine article talks about “accessible, evocative language from the inner life of trees,” so we can posit perhaps that the imbalance in our nation is no one’s fault, but that the Earth is confused by hearing so many sad stories, and then throwing everything off balance. Believe in the communication of nature or not, but maybe we should take notice. Move forward by looking up into the skies and the trees, it just might provide a place of solace. Take some time to look for the good in nature and listen to the sights and sounds it brings us; the result just might bring a sense of peace and calm.

Why Is Hope So Important?