A few weeks ago, while visiting my folks back, my kids experienced one of what I consider to be a quintessential summer experience.

Fireflies! A special treat given that we do not have fireflies in California.

We spent a magical evening catching and (mostly) releasing fireflies (there were a few that got squished, by “accident”).  Long after bedtime, you could still find us running around in the cool, moist evening air, our feet wet from dewy grass, gasping at a blink of light and laughing at the magic of the moment.

It was heavenly, and just the experience I was hoping my California children would have while visiting the east coast in summer.

I have no photos of this extraordinary experience. It was a “be in the moment” kind of evening.

Running in the humid air the next morning, I inhaled deeply the smell of lush green moist summer. I must admit I find myself sentimental for that smell.

(written a few days ago…) This morning I woke to the smell of burning redwoods, oak and whatever else is sadly burning away in a huge wildfire fire in the Santa Cruz mountains. The California landscape is so dramatically different from that of my childhood in Pennsylvania. I love them both.

What are some of your favorite childhood memories of being outdoors?


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