While sitting with relatives at the back of the house one night in a suburb of Chicago, I found my attention drifting from the conversation. I was mesmerized by the brief flashes of light around the yard.
"Lightning bugs," I said, smiling. "It's been so long since I've seen them!"
"You don't have them in Seattle?" my aunt asked.
I shook my head, and continued watching the fireflies dance.
After a while, one of my nieces came up to me and opened her hands. She held out a lightning bug for me, and I thanked her. I reached out and let the bug crawl onto my finger. Soon, my hand was glowing.
Later, I thought about that kind gesture, and about how -- while I'd been focused on keeping up my part of the conversation with my relatives, and probably struggling to deal with all of the attention -- they'd simply been conspiring to see that I was happy.
Sometimes, I guess having the light shone on you isn't so bad.