A particular summer memory

I hate “favorite” questions. Instead I’ll respond with a presently relevant memory, one that has been on my mind over the last few weeks.

Each summer when I was young, my dad would take my brother and I to visit my grandmother. He would drop us off with her, head home so that he could finish out the work week, and then come up on Friday so we could spend the weekend together.

Summertime is the time for fireflies, so I would spend the evenings running around my grandmother’s yard and her garden plot next door trying to catch a few. She gave me a glass jar with a rubber band, some plastic wrap, and the screw-on portion of a canning lid, and I would carefully coax a few fireflies off my hand into the jar before securing the plastic wrap over the opening with the rubber band, followed by the lid. To make sure they had enough air, I poked tiny holes in the taut plastic wrap with a toothpick and carted them off to my bedroom for the night, where they sat on the bedside table next to me. Always an early riser, my grandmother would wake me up so that I could let the fireflies free into the dew-tipped grass the next morning.

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About Chelsea
I'm currently pursuing my MFA in Writing at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. My ideal career path involves using writing, publication, and writing education to enact progressive social change.

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