I just stepped out onto our second floor deck, wet from the passing of a thunderstorm. We are surrounded by the forest, and even though the rain has moved on, the sounds of falling raindrops from leaves flitting in the breeze add to the now distant rumble. In the valley to the east, flashes that had just lightened my windows are now illuminating layers of clouds and distant ridges. Above us, just to the west, a waxing crescent moon peeks from behind moving clouds, winking at nearby stars. The rain has filled the air with a sweet pungent aroma of soggy autumn leaves on the forest floor and of distant honeysuckle and scattered wild roses. Fireflies sparkle. Crickets call out. Magic is this night.
Watching fireflies flitting, darting, dancing brings back a memory of our first spring on this land, back in late May, 2000. Dennis and I had arrived from Virginia Beach for the weekend and in the darkness made our way to the hammock we had strung between an old walnut tree and a mulberry tree. We dropped ourselves sideways on the rigid cotton strings and rocked the hammock back and forth in the quiet night. Waves of warm and cool air streaming down the mountainside brushed against us, reminiscent of my childhood years standing in the waters of Lake Erie in early summer when warm and cool currents would stroke my legs.
That spring of 2000, the grasses of this mountain property had grown high. Fireflies, we would learn, love these high grasses. They saturated the field with glitter. We had never seen so many fireflies. We were immersed in a twinkling wonderland. As we lay in the hammock, we looked heavenward. Sparkling lights rose from the earth below our feet, to the treetops above and up to the stars in the sky. The twinkling was so beautifully profuse, we could not tell where the fireflies ended and the stars began. I had discovered the word "Ankida" in a book years before, the ancient Sumerian word meaing, "where heaven and earth join." I was awestruck by the beauty of these thousands of lights that connected us to the earth below and the stars above. We knew this would become the name of our mountain, having no idea at the time we would ever grow a vineyard.
As I now work amongst the vines between the earth and the sky, the vines and I share the same space. I remain in awe of how these tiny grape clusters emerge each year and of the cycles of life that unfold around me. This beautiful mountain has given us so much. From the moment I stepped foot on this land, I knew I had come home. And what an amazing journey has unfolded since that time.
Be sure to take the time to find your own little magical twinkling firefly space. It will be worth the effort.
I leave you with these links to some magical firefly images: