As they end their search
for fireflies with only 3 in the jar
I realize summer is nearing its end.
The signs are all around me.
How did I miss them creeping up?
The tiger lilies that proudly
lined the driveway,
greeting each guest with a
brilliant show of color,
are now nothing more than green
swords waving at the kids as they
ride their bikes past.
The once bright orange blooms
are lying on the ground
crisp and brown
waiting for the next good breeze
to take them on their first (and last) journey.
The neighbors tree is starting to
change into it's Autumn wardrobe already.
Its uppermost leaves shimmering in the sun
an almost exotice combination of
reds and oranges.
Its message reads as clear
as if it were a billboard:
''SLOW DOWN- Summer ending soon! ''
I see even the kids are showing
signs of Falls quick approach.
They're losing that spring in their step
and now are moving along at half-pace.
They seem to sense the upcoming school year
and I can see the dread in their eyes
as if they're losing their best friend
and there's nothing they can do about it.
With a look of hopelessness
I watch them open up their jar
to release the 3 fireflies.
But, unlike their usual releases
where they tip the jar upside-down
and shake the creatures out,
this time they just removed the lid
and set the jar on the picnic table.
They sat there patiently
watching until the last firefly
had found its way out.
It was as if they knew
this would be the last time
they caught them until next year
and they needed time to say goodbye.