on fireflies and eternity

As the fireflies light up the garden tonight, I remember an encounter in words from long ago:

Florence Farr once said to me, “If we could say to ourselves, with sincerity, ‘The passing moment is as good as any I shall ever know,’ we could die upon the instant; and be united with God.” William Butler Yeats

If god is all that exists—bar none ever—I wonder: on what great longings do the lightning bugs take wing and shine? What might they know of creation and war and loss and the lickety-split nature of destruction? And what might it mean for humans—believing ourselves trapped in a world chaotic beyond easy reckoning, worsening daily and spinning beyond our control—to surrender fully to the good in each present moment and thus risk being united with all things? Might we not see in these flashes of light some better way to carry on while we still breathe? Might we not, on finding our own sinews and cells and desires rooted deep within all that exist—even those whom we most fear or hate—might we not then become a force for healing, for revival, for life? Might we not see our sisters and brothers in those we have styled as enemies, our friends in the very souls of our foes, our selves in the ones whom we have spurned and loved alike? Might we know then that we are one and thus each has a particular , irreplaceable contribution to make in this grander play for which we all fly and flash for a few moments in time?

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