Twilight’s a magical time in Tennessee. There’ve been a million country songs written about the subject, a myriad of bro-poets waxing nostalgic about fireflies in between extolling the virtues of cheap domestic lager. I have to admit, they’re onto something.
I’m sitting in a lawn chair outside David Arms gallery, munching on a cheeseburger from Puckett’s Grocery, and chuckling, having heard an epically bearded fifty-something declare "I’m gonna call the Doobie Brothers gospel just so we can play their music on a Sunday." It is, in fact, Sunday, which means there’s not a whole lot going on in Leiper’s Fork. Just me, a utility burger, blushing celestial canopy, and rustling nighttime critters appearing in the vanishing daylight. There's a satisfying stillness in the fall air.
The chairs outside David Arms gallery face out over an open field and, aside from the faint suggestion of gospel music from Puckett’s, the Main Street’s quiet. The fireflies are emerging. They’re only active between twilight and dusk, and the entire field’s suddenly alive in luminescence, an undulating sea of soft flickering neon. Are there hundreds? Thousands? It’s hypnotic, and I find myself counting my breaths up to ten, inhaling and exhaling slowly, gently meditating in the semidarkness.
A horse whinnies, tosses its head, and happily farts. I laugh, freeing bits of utility burger in the process, and think about perennial things. Fireflies will always display their butts in horniness, large mammals will always pass gas, and there’ll always be fields in which both cavort. They certainly don’t care that the record’s delayed until November. Maybe I shouldn’t either.