Not yet twilight.
We were sitting on the deck, as we often do on summer evenings. My son had brought his portable bluetooth speaker outside and was quietly listening to his favorite songs on Spotify.
The sky darkened, and I marveled at its changes, as I always do. We spotted the crescent moon. "Is it waxing or waning?" my son asked.
"Waxing," I told him. "This is the new moon of Tamuz, the month just started." I remembered the printed list of beloved things that my mother left in her files for us to include in her obituary. The moon was on that list.
Then my kid squinted into the gloaming. "What is that?"
I stood up and looked out toward the stand of trees on the far side of the expanse of condo lawn. "What is what?"
"Those little... sparkles."
"Those are fireflies."
A tiny spark. Another one. Flickering pinpricks of light across the lawn's expanse.
I wanted to snap a picture, but my phone's camera couldn't make them out. The naked eye could, though. Little glints of light, like flecks of gold in the evening air.
I have a vague idea that fireflies are more rare now than they used to be, a casualty of light pollution and our changing climate. I remember an antique children's book in Czech about fireflies that used to be displayed in my parents' library. I wonder which of their descendants has that book now. My mother loved fireflies, too.
"Awesome, right?" I asked my son, and he agreed enthusiastically. We made a shechecheyanu, sanctifying the moment and our aliveness in it -- and the fireflies' aliveness, too.
There's so much that I don't know how to fix. But I am grateful for moments like these, even though I can't hold on to them.
Every moment sparkles, if I look at it right. Every moment slips free from my cupped hands and is gone.