By Kallan Kennedy
She sits in silence as the longest day finally recedes.
A watcher, she is careful not to intrude; this night does not belong to her. The lightning bugs are the first to break the ebony cloak, as they illuminate the forest.
The anticipatory tension increases with each passing moment. Will they come? Will they show themselves? It seems as if she is not the only one asking.
The death beetles and crickets begin their song- a cacophonic competition that rises and falls in synchronization, inviting them to the dance. She holds her breath and tries to stay in the moment.
Don’t think. No anticipation. No expectation allowed. Be here. Be present. Be grateful. Feel the air filled with water; it is heavier than the night. Smell the bracing scent of forest pine and sassafras. Listen to the nocturnal concerto. Hone in on the fireflies as they pepper the scene. Wait- are those eyes? Yes! Several sets, piercing blue and moving this way! They have come!
As she draws in breath, it is stolen by their majesty. These are not the tiny winged creatures of silly folklore, but they are much more magnificent than she had ever imagined. Towering, lithe, and agile, their shine is mesmerizing.
They light a fire, and set up camp. The drummers join in the woodland symphony, as the dancers warm up. The king and queen take their places on cedar thrones, while the court prepares to feast. Their laughter is contagious and she forgets herself for a moment. The king’s head turns her way as her hand quickly covers her mouth. His eyes make contact with hers, and he winks before turning his attention back to the celebration at hand.
The fair folk begin their joyous festivity of fecundity and Mystery that will last until sunrise. She smiles as she takes it all in, knowing she is right where she belongs.