Travel

In The Dead of Night

Maybe it’s because I grew up in London that I’d never seen fireflies before.

Maybe they don’t even populate the UK.

I have no idea. After all, I’ve barely seen a bright night in my city, the millions of lamps and high levels of pollution taking away its natural wonders, so how on earth would I ever see something as delicate and as quietly beautiful as a firefly? In the past I’d only ever seen them in American films: young boys capturing them and putting them in glass jars to marvel at them or give them as a gift to impress a girl, but never in person, never in real life.

Until I visited Cambodia.

We had taken an evening boat trip in Kampot to see the sunset on the lake. With beers and pillows, we travellers settled in and chatted, getting to know each other as we asked the usual questions of ‘so where are you from?’ ‘where are you going?’ ‘where have you been?’ and more, basking in the warmth and gentle breeze. They played music on the boat, trying to create a lively atmosphere, but everything fell quiet as we watched the sun disappear and darkness take over, our eyes adjusting as we pulled up alongside some greenery. Complete darkness quickly engulfed us as the boat switched off its engines and lights, leaving us floating, our senses alert.

Complete darkness, that was, until our guide pointed to one of the trees and we saw a myriad of glittering lights; hundreds and hundreds of specks glowing in the black. Fireflies! My first time seeing them, and I fell so instantly in love and was so struck by their beauty and so in awe that I thought I would never want the moment to end.

Until I did want it to when the guide started blasting Owl City through the speakers, ruining the stillness and romanticism of the night… because even if ‘Fireflies’ is a good song, there’s a time and a place, and it certainly wasn’t during that peaceful moment with nature.

8 Comments

  • livechicandwell

    Fireflies are amazing! Your beautiful description brought the memories back of when my husband and I saw them on our honeymoon in Malaysia. I’m pretty certain they don’t populate the UK, so seeing them light up the dark on our travels is an extra special experience to be savoured. xx

    • Diandra Francesca

      Oh how lovely! I’m so happy it brought back memories for you ❤️ and Malaysia? Amazing! Whereabouts did you go? I’m thinking of going there in December if I can. And it is such a precious, beautiful experience. Hope you’re good 🙂 x

  • Antonia

    That would be so amazing to see fireflies, even though I’m not big on natural, that would have been something to see. I used to love that owl city song. I need to start traveling to these countries

  • Globetrotting Grandpa

    They are fairly frequent in the summertime in the midwestern US. Here they are called “lightning bugs”. There used to be thousands in the night sky but over the last couple of decades, their number has diminished greatly. Pesticides and climate change are believed to be the culprit. They’re marvelous.

    • Diandra Francesca

      Lightning bugs!? That’s such a cool name! And it’s so sad about the fact they’re reducing – and probably nothing being done about it. I would love to see so many of them in one go ❤️

  • NunziaDreams

    Ahh, you always bring out the emotion in me with your writing, girl! I’m tearing up right now lol!! Your description of the fireflies made me remember nights as a kid. I have lived in Chicago most of my life, and would always see fireflies/lightening bugs at night. They remind me of my grandparent’s house and all those summer nights growing up. Haven’t seen one in a while, prob cause of the pollution. It makes me really sad. :/

    I’m so happy that you got to see fireflies! They really are beautiful, aren’t they? Omg, why would someone play that Owl City song during such a peaceful moment??! -____- *rolling my eyes* I love Owl City’s music but that song always irritated me lol!

    • Diandra Francesca

      Aw thank you ❤️ I’m happy you got some of the emotion I was feeling. And yes, they are absolutely stunning – how amazing to have grown up seeing so many during summer!

      And I’ve no idea, probably because they wanted to be ‘cool’ or some shit. No-one appreciated it, lol. Hope you’re well xx

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