Like tiny fireworks, sparks of light danced along the pathway as I took an evening walk the other day. Fireflies!
If you’re from the Midwest, you’re probably thinking, “What’s the big deal? We have fireflies every summer.” But for a southern California native—a place where we don’t have fireflies, the opportunity to enjoy this natural spectacle is magical.
I’ve heard all the stories of childhood firefly wonders. And the affection that those who know fireflies have for these gentle, easy to catch insects. I was surprised when I first saw them up-close, they aren’t so magical or elegant when they aren’t glowing. They are more of the sturdy, ordinary bug variety. But when they do their thing…I am mesmerized!
I love the way something so seemingly ordinary can also be magical. I think of my students that way too. It’s easy to clump students together in categories. There are the ones who are slow to start, there’s the ones who race through every task without much thought or care, there are those who spend their time in their own daydreams, and those that never stop moving.
But watch carefully, create spaces for inquiry and imagination and play, and we all might just see those sparks of light…that magical natural spectacle…learning!
I completely understand. This native Southern Californian was fascinated by fireflies on a trip to Texas. It was magical for me, much like the Pacific is magical for Midwesterners, and we take it for granted too often.
I have never seen a firefly, and I hope I once do, those fascinating creatures remind us that there is always time for a little thought, a little question, and then and answer. The answer might’ve not be what we thought, but this means where learning something new.
Thanks Mallory. Learning has really been my summer experience. I’m always a learner–but my blog really makes me think about my learning more intentionally. I hope you get to see fireflies one of these days…they are magnificent!
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