Dusk is my least favorite part of the day. As a morning person who loves to see the world come alive with the sun painting pinks, blues, yellows, and sometimes even green across the morning sky, seeing the day end is always slightly sad. Not that a sunset isn’t gorgeous in its own right, mind you. They have their own special beauty, but that time after the sun has gone down and before the stars come out is always a bit depressing.
There was a time when I loved dusk. I was little, and the whole world was my playground. I spent whole days running through the pastures of my grandparents’ farm, terrorizing the barn cats, swinging on a splinter-filled wood swing, and (quite dangerously) exploring sink holes at the back of the property.
Despite all those wonderfully long, gorgeous summer days, the moments I remember fondly aren’t the sunrises when I woke to the smell of my Grandma cooking bacon and making biscuits from scratch or the searing, comforting heat of the Kentucky summer sun as I got sunburnt yet again while playing hide and seek with my cousins.
Then, dusk was not the end of another day filled with midterms and stress about my future after graduation; it was the hour of lightning bugs.
Their lights would start slowly: first one, then another. They appeared like magic every few minutes just as the sun sank below the horizon. And then, they’d all light up at once. The pastures were full of them, and my Granddaddy, the man who always reminded me to value life more than anyone, would hand all of the grandchildren a mason jar and set us loose on the fields.
We’d gather our little balls of light into jars, using them to light our way back to the porch where we excitedly told whatever fairy tales we had concocted on the walk, and my Granddaddy would take us on his lap and listen to every single one.
On a typical night, I’m rushing from meeting to meeting or longing for my Mom’s cooking as I prepare yet another BLT for dinner. Amongst all the stress, I forget to stop and observe the quiet peacefulness of dusk and remember my Granddaddy’s comforting voice as I told one childish tale after another. But sometimes, I’ll catch a firefly lighting up the night sky out of the corner of my eye, and suddenly, I’m seven years old again.
The world is a magical land filled with happy dusks and adventures through a country field, and all is well, if for only just a moment, amongst the craziness of my college kid life.