Last Sunday, after too much Father’s Day celebratory sugar at Grandpa’s house, our child was actually awake when the lightning bugs made their evening show. It was a hot night, too; perfect for bugs of all types. As she was running around with her father positively squealing with joy, I realized she was beside herself.
There’s even a philosophical tradition of this transcendent experience. Ex-stasis is from the ancient Greek meaning “out-stand”: ecstacy, outstanding. (She is, of course, the latter to me; I am her mother after all.) Transcendence is somthing adults have a hard time achieving on their own without chemicals or religious woo-woo. So I was actually a touch envious of her happiness: they’re just bugs, after all. Bugs with a touch of magic.