My husband was in New York City for meetings last month, and I tagged along. During the day, I caught up on writerly things and did some exploring. Visited my friends the turtles in the Central Park Zoo.
At night and on the weekend we turned tourist, checked out the American Museum of Natural History, saw some Broadway plays, and ate very well. Walked across the Brooklyn Bridge and stopped at Grimaldi’s Pizza, a spot so good they can insist on cash-only, no-reservations, and still have a 30-minute line-up waiting for a seat.
On the way back from our pizza pilgrimage, we passed under one of the approaches to the bridge. During the day, I imagine the area is a shady, green nook. At dusk, it’s magical.
I’ve never seen fireflies like that: sparking bright against the dark, winking like a meteor shower.
It brought tears to my eyes. Not just for what I saw, but for what it said.
My first chance to visit Manhattan came a few years ago, out of the blue. Big New York City was not on my wish-list to visit. Truth be told, I was a bit scared.
You hear the stories of violence and of bystanders who won’t get involved. You hear about pushy people, aggressive, demanding everything not-now-but-yesterday.
Aside from Central Park, I imagined everything to be concrete, asphalt and glass.
God surprised me on that first trip, with spring flowers growing in tiny pockets of soil among the buildings. With pedestrians who’d stop and give directions. With the sidewalks in Times Square that sparkled in the light.
He was there too, so there was room for me in this suddenly not-so-alien city.
This trip, He surprised me with fireflies: more sparkles. It reminded me of His first surprises, and the later ones. My tears came from the intimacy of the message. He knows me. He loves me.
Fireflies in Brooklyn. The highlight of my trip, and it was free.
© Janet Sketchley, 2010
For devotionals, reviews and conversation, stop by Janet Sketchley's blog, God with Us: Finding Joy.