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A Firefly's Farewell

Once upon a time there was a little firefly named Flynn. Flynn lived by himself since the time he was a young spark. By himself, that is, except for Lamp. Flynn loved Lamp. He bathed in Lamp’s warm glow, flitted amidst the dust that glittered with reflected beams, and slept under Lamp’s generous shade. Every day without fail Flynn would come out to bask in Lamp’s glorious effulgence. Life was good.
And then one day, one day is all it took, his world fell apart. Lamp became ill. He was sick, dying. He started having fits, and every cough seemed like it would be his last as the convulsions flickered him on and off. Lamp’s light started to dim, slowly at first, but it got steadily worse.
Flynn would say, “No, no, you’re getting better. You’re going to be all right!” But Lamp knew it wasn’t so.
And then the day arrived. The day it all had to end. The day that Lamp would have to say all the right things and teach Flynn ‘The Way Things Have to Be’. But it was too late, Lamp knew. Those things could not be said nor taught in one day. It took time to prepare and now there was no time. No time left to say how much he loved Flynn, how much he’d always loved him.
“Flynn, my son,” said Lamp.
Flynn looked into Lamp’s bright white eyes, “Yes?”
“I love you.”
“I know,” said Flynn. “You let me play beneath your radiance. I washed myself in your presence. I slept under your loving countenance. I don’t think I can live without you. Please, please don’t go!”
And at that moment Lamp would have given anything to stay, to go on loving and teaching. But that’s not ‘The Way Things Are’.
“Flynn, if there were no good-byes, there would be no hellos.”
“I don’t understand. I don’t know of anything but you. You can’t leave! You can’t! You can’t! You can’t!”
And all that preparing could not have prepared Lamp for this. “There will be others, you will see. Now hush, hush, I want some rest.”
Before Flynn knew it, Lamp faded away. Gone. And as soon as Lamp was gone, Flynn saw something he’d never seen before. It was magnificent, awesome, huge. It had little blinking lights all across with a gorgeous orb that hung in it like a hammock. He’d never seen anything so beautiful as that pale blue glow. And although no light could ever replace Lamp, there were others. That Flynn could now see.
That night was Flynn’s first. He spent it thinking. About how much he missed Lamp, about ‘The Way Things Are’ and ‘The Way Things Have to Be’. But mostly he just stared up at the sky. And in the morning, it all made sense.

April 23, 2007
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