Finalists and winners are named at the same time, and it is beyond an honor to be included in this group. To put a Nashville spin on it: It’s like the Grammys. If you’re nominated, you call all your relatives, slam the heck out of Twitter and Facebook, pop open something bubbly, and proudly update your digital profiles with the likes of “Pulitzer-recognized journalist…”
I am reading on the screened porch with a bowl of pesto pasta, and the cats are pawing at insects fluttering on the other side. It is long past eight o’clock but it’s been dark only for an hour or so, and I look up for a minute, distracted by the lightning bugs. They are everywhere again.
A few days ago someone asked if there were more than usual this summer. Lightning bugs, or fireflies, (what you call them seems to be determined by geography, age, and whether you need the shorter word for a headline or Twitter), do seem to have staked a claim on Middle Tennessee this June. I thought this may have been because of the floods in May. Lightning bugs are a kind of beetle, and as larva they prefer soggy, wet soil where their food lives. They fill up on slugs, snails, and other soft-bodied animals before developing into the winged insects our children trap in mason jars. The spring floods in Tennessee killed more than 20 people and left billions of dollars of economic damage, but it seems they also created a firefly baby boom.
Could it be we have a lovely footnote to our tragedy, or is this just wishful thinking from a person looking for light?
I’m a journalist with The Tennessean. Because of overwhelming flooding in our city the last four days, my “day job” has been more like a “round the clock” job. That’s why I haven’t posted in a while.
I’m not complaining. Getting information to people is an important part of helping my city overcome this disaster.
I hope you and your family are safe and dry.