"When the square suddenly seemed to begin to glow in an enchanted way and look wonderful in spite of its sooty trees and railings, Sara knew something was going on in the sky; and when it was at all possible to leave the kitchen without being missed or called back, she invariably stole away and crept up the flights of stairs, and, climbing on the old table, got her head and body as far out of the window as possible. When she had accomplished this, she always drew a long breath and looked all round her. It used to seem as if she had all the sky and the world to herself."
--A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett
I have a place like this, too: a tiny half-bath window that faces the trees on the western edge of our yard. The two largest trees, an oak and a black walnut, are almost one hundred years old. Smaller black walnuts, locusts, and maples shade the lawn in the afternoon. The loveliest time comes as the sun is setting.
Spending all day with my children leaves me yearning for a quiet, solitary moment, especially at day's end. (If you can guess my Myers-Briggs type, you'll get a special mention in my next post.) Once the kids are in bed, I head to that window, open it and listen to the birds and feel the breeze that lifts the branches. As evening falls, fireflies begin winking in the grass and up in the trees. As a child, I was fascinated by Disneyland's artificial fireflies in the "bayou" on the Pirates of the Caribbean ride. Discovering that real fireflies are every bit as magical as the ones from that memory has proven to be a potent antidote to ennui. The fireflies that light the branches of the trees flicker next to stars. Their ephemeral display turns the dark giants into enchanted Christmas trees, months away from December: a midsummer night's dream.
"It's a Splendid one," said Sara, softly, to herself. "It makes me feel almost afraid--as if something strange was just going to happen. The Splendid ones always make me feel like that."