Last year he said that right after we had left the fireflies had come. So this time we stayed until late. They appeared in the thick of the bushes, in the garden, as soon as it got dark. As we left, the ping-pong table was the one thing lit in the dark heart of the hills. On our way home we made a brief detour across the woods. We pulled to the side of the road and turned off the lights. They were everywhere. They pulsated in silence as white as tiny starships, and took my breath away.