I always watch for the longest day of the year, but unlike Daisy Buchanan in The Great Gatsby, I never miss it.
Daisy had the nightingales, and I have the robins, who are hopping, chirping, flocking to my sprinklers, taking long baths in my birdbath, and then sitting on the edge to preen themselves. Looking at me with their heads bent to one side, and always listening for worms.
Out my window I see a yellow butterfly unknowingly fly into the section where two diaphanous sprays of water meet, from my sprinklers. It gets confused and flutters for a moment, then flies off.
In the sunlight a long straight cobweb glimmers as the wind sways it gently, and like a slender tightrope, it connects two upper branches on my ‘Arctic Fire’ Cornus dogwood shrub.
I see, as I turn off the faucet in the dark, a flickering light down inside some curled hydrangea leaves. I look more closely, and find that it is a firefly, flickering bright green, reflecting the green of the hydrangea leaves. A bright summer light, in the middle of darkness.
As a gardener who has always been in search of beauty, I notice these quiet events in my yard, and I celebrate the day with a serene seat at twilight on my lower grounds, a flickering candle, a glass of prosecco, and a reflection on what is currently doing splendidly in my gardens.
Spirea, bright purple gomphrena, purple daisies, red roses, “Pink Icing” blueberry bush, and a new type of compact butterfly bush with bright green foliage, called “Little Nugget,” are all flourishing in my yard at the turn of the season. Many others will follow soon, with their beauty, smell, texture, and ability to dance in the wind.
As I sit and watch, and listen, it becomes black dark, and another firefly glimmers and floats around my arborvitae, beckoning me, but then disappears when I go close to search for it. As I reluctantly leave the grounds, I look over my shoulder once more, hoping to see another sparkle of the firefly.
On the longest day of the year, nature provides her firefly, robin, cobweb, and butterfly magic, for us, to complement the beauty of our gardens.