i stood on a hillside overlooking a meadow. dusk had come. there was barely a sliver of sunlight left to the day. across the meadow, flickerings, flashings… the fireflies were waking.

i stood and watched, both there and not there, strobing amber flashes, calling… calling… and every time one pulsed, my mind pulsed too. sonar. radar. ping. ping. ping. contact.

slowly, i began to see patterns emerging. across great distances, in the increasing dark, they were speaking to one another. i imagined i could hear them as whispers…

‘are you there?’ “yes.”

‘am i close?’ “yes.”

‘i can’t find you.’ “i am here.”

‘where?’ “here.”

‘where now?’ “here.”

‘and now?’ “here.”

‘ah!’ “yes.”


then, silence.

the quiet callings continued, and i listened, and wept, breathing slowly, watching as the night progressed and the little beacons winked out, one by one, as they found one another.

i heard a whisper, ‘are you there?’


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