For the past few summer nights, I’ve had the urge to go outside and catch fireflies. Instead, I stayed inside and watched them light up, all the while thinking, “It would be fun to go out there and catch some.” I felt like I was too old.
Rewind a little bit to the past winter. It hadn’t even snowed yet but I was already dreading it. Then a very timely thing happened. I read a blog post where the author said something to the effect of, “I never want to stop anticipating the beauty of the first snowfall.” Something clicked.
When I was little, I couldn’t wait for it to snow. What had happened to that eager anticipation for the glittery snowfall? As I got older I’d decided that snow was too bothersome. I realized that I didn’t want to be like that. I wanted to be excited again. The rest of the winter I remembered those words, and my attitude changed. In the morning, I woke up to a sparkling winter wonderland and smiled.
I doubt you expected to read a post about snow in July, but as I was sitting on our deck watching these fireflies, I was thinking, it’s kind of the same thing. At least in my mind it was. I’ll try and connect the dots for you, but if it still doesn’t form the picture, then it apparently is one of those things that only makes sense in my head.
Last night we had homemade elephant ears for supper and sat on our deck to enjoy the evening, which was beautiful. As expected, the fireflies soon made their appearance. I watched them and thought I should go out and catch some, but I didn’t. In a way I think I was afraid that it wouldn’t be as much fun anymore.
And then, pfft, I realized something: I’d gotten the same way about snow. My attitude had changed. But once I put the right perspective on it, I remembered that snow could be pretty amazing sometimes. (I say sometimes because I’m not a personal fan of shoveling 2-1/2 feet of the stuff every other afternoon. 😉 )
So last night I thought I’d try the same thing with the fireflies. I’d stop thinking I was too old for something I wanted to do and I’d just do it. I went inside, got a jar, chased them around the yard, and put them in my Ball mason jar. I didn’t care that I wasn’t the typical lightning-bug-catcher age. I just went with it. I didn’t go in thinking, too old, no fun, blah blech blug. And when I went in with the right attitude, I discovered that yeah, catching lightning bugs is still fun to me.
Your attitude towards the situation does make a difference. The snow can be good or bad–it depends on how you want to view it. You can be too old to catch fireflies in your backyard on a summer’s night–but only if you say so. You could absolutely fail your math test because you’re not an A+ math student, or you could go in trying your best.
And sure, there are some things that I’ll grow out of. But I don’t grow out of them because I feel like I have to; because I feel like I’m too old for them. If I’m going to grow out of something, I want it to be because I’m moving on with my life and going on to even more exciting things. My dolls might not go on outdoor adventures anymore, but I do. I go exploring all the time, something that I couldn’t do when I was little. I’ve told you guys about some of my adventures even: meeting that muskrat in the woods, for instance. Adding outrageous amounts of baking soda to a single batch of snickerdoodles.
The rest of this summer, I’m going to go on happy and joyful adventures. I’m going to wonder why my lightning bugs won’t light up while they’re prisoner in my glass jar but never stop blinking when they’re free. I’m going to pick a gallon of wild black raspberries at the sacrifice of my arms and legs being full of scratches. I’m going to get sort-of lost on a bike ride and call my parents to figure out “Just where exactly am I and how far away is the nearest cross-road?”
And I’m going to go into every situation with a good attitude about it. Well, try to. Jesus is still working with me on the “every situation = good attitude” part. But we’ll get there.
Happy summer, guys. Go on adventures, and have fun with it.