When I was younger, and in a particularly stressed moment of life, I drove all night just to touch the ocean. I held a vision of standing on the beach, letting the ocean surf touch my ankles and toes while I reach down and slap/pat the ocean with an open hand the way one might pat a friendly dog. I just wanted to feel a beginning and an end.

When I arrived at the beach, the tide was high and heavy. The wind circled around like angry ghosts trying to stop me. My handshake with the ocean became a pull toward oblivion. Briefly, I allowed for it to take me. A few seconds of calm within the cold churn of the night water. I went under. I felt no beginning or end, rather an entirety. And I was a miniscule sinking spasm of blood, soon to be distentigrated into bits and bits of recycled molecules.

On the drive home I must have hit a thousand fireflies; smearing and splattering like a map of the cosmos. I believed in God then, because of the fireflies. Subtle reminders that the Earth could have been built for us. Alive lights of the night. I haven’t seen a firefly in decades, now. What I would give for one trapped in a jar. I’d turn it around in my hands like a fantastic big gemstone, forever enchanted by its splendor and worth. But, alas, it wouldn’t be fair to the firefly, to be locked up like that.

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