Nighttime Rides & Fireflies

A few nights ago, I rode my bike home from girls' night at a friend's.  For a few years now, we've met once a week while our favorite terrible "reality" television program airs.  We hang out, drink tea, and laugh.  I cherish this time with them and it has become something to which I greatly look forward.

In addition to the excellent company, I love riding my bike to and from her house, because the weather in Virginia is so perfect for bike rides so much of the year.  Because it is beautiful and sunny when I head over to her house, however, I often forget my reflective safety vest (and the corresponding headlamp on which Danny insists when he's home). 

This week, Danny was home on my girls' night, so he offered to "pick me up," meaning meet me on his bike to ride home.  When I saw him, he had on both his reflective vest and his shining headlamp.  He circled me as I unlocked my bike, said hello and smiled, and we rode off together.

Riding in the cool darkness is incredibly peaceful.  If you've never done it, I suggest you give it a try.  On this night, the stars glittered brightly in the sky.  In the patches of trees and brush between streetlamps, we saw what was likely hundreds of fireflies glowing and moving.  The sight was breathtaking. 

I am not normally one to swoon over the sight of bugs--neither in a "please take care of that!" or a "bugs are so incredible, I want to study them" kind of way.  The sight of these insects, on this evening, paired with the stars, dim moonlight, cool breeze, and wind in my hair delighted me.  The sight also took Danny by surprise, because he called out for me to circle back around so we could look at them a moment longer. 

He wished aloud, regretfully, that we had our camera, not knowing it was in my bag.  After a few shots, however, we knew that our efforts would not succeed.  As predicted, but ignored, only blackness appeared in each photo. 

This outcome stood as an excellent reminder for me to live in the moment and fully experience the beauty of that time.  It reminded me that even though I write a blog and I want to share pictures with my readers, I need to remember, instead, that the blog is entitled "Making Mindfulness" to promote mindfulness in everyday life--like that exact moment.

So, although I can't share the moment with you, or a photo representation of that moment, I can say that moments like that one are happening all around you in your everyday life: your child's silly laugh, your friend's warm smile, your mother's quick and thoughtful note... if you look around and make mindfulness happen, you will notice the beauty and simplicity that surrounds you.

And, if you want, you should recreate a nighttime ride, complete with magnificent fireflies on your own.

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