Open the Jar
It’s Independence Day. I sit on a patio with a drink in my hand. Dusk sets in, and the breeze from it feels coolish on my body, still sticky from the heat of the afternoon. My niece runs over, breathless, grasping a small object. She pushes a mason jar into my hand.
“Will you take care of these?”
I peer inside the jar. Fireflies scurry around in circles, fluttering over each other in an eccentric rush.
Every so often, a pulse of light bursts forth from one, fading as quickly as it came. I smile and fixate on the creatures inside. But I start to realize something is off. The fireflies are different in the jar than they are out of it. I stare at them and mentally conjure the souls with whom I relate. Is it the same?
There is a large element of control when I put the fireflies in their jar. I can choose for them. That they keep to a certain path, and I can see them up close. I get to pick the jar I watch them through. How much light lets in, and the shade of the glass. It’s convenient for me. It is my own lens.
Still, my jar does something to the flies. It distorts them. It dims their light. The glass makes them anxious, and after a while, it slows them down. They lose their glow. They grow weary with heartbreak. Eventually I know, they will give up trying to give off light.
I decide to open the jar. Oh, the luminance. The fireflies take flight. They pierce through the night sky like shooting stars. Tiny bolts of lightning draw gold filaments in the trees. The fireflies brighten as they gain strength and display beauty for all to see. Their brilliancy captivates the senses and enraptures deeply.
I look down at my jar, my lens. It was difficult to open at first, to let go. But now that I’ve released my grip and removed my glass, I marvel at the grandest splendor.
I think of the souls.
Yes, it’s very much the same indeed.