It had seemed like a good idea. It was New Year's Eve and I was walking behind my husband, sister, and brother-in-law in a very dark forest in New Zealand. They had flashlights, I didn't. It was close to midnight. I was tripping a little because I couldn't see the ground. The deeper we got into the woods, the more nervous I became, even though my sister and brother-in-law lived in New Zealand.
"There might be snakes," I mentioned.
"There are no snakes in New Zealand," my husband said.
I doubted this. "They might be lost," I mentioned. "And crabby." I thought about being dragged off by some fierce, reckless creature. "Tell me we're not lost," I pleaded.
"We're not," my husband said.
How do you know? We've never been here before. For all the hiking we've done, we've never once walked in a dark forest close to midnight!
The crunch of our boots was the only sound as we walked. The silence was so deep, I grabbed Evan's hand. Then one by one the flashlights were turned off and my sister said, "There they are." I could barely see her hand pointing. I looked through the darkness and saw little lights up ahead, like dim, white Christmas lights glowing. We'd found the glow worms.
I hadn't expected expected them to look like this. I don't know what I'd expected — fireflies, maybe? Little worms blinking on and off like Disney insects…certainly not the array of hundreds of tiny lights in the bushes. It was magical. "Hi kids," I whispered. You don't shout in the presence of glow worms.
We stood there in silence looking at the light show. I could have stood there all night. And I kept thinking, there are just some things that need the darkness to show their stuff. I want to remember that going into this new year, a year that's sure to be packed with dark economic challenges. May our eyes be opened in 2009 to see the light glowing in the most amazing places.