I never thought much about dragonflies before we lost our boys because of Leukemia. If I thought of them at all, it was only to think that they kept the mosquito population down, or that they were strange and peculiar looking creatures. But then, when we moved to Florida two years ago, they became a huge part of my life.
It began early one summer morning when Sally, the Wonder Westie, and I were out in the backyard. She was on her leash just sniffing around. Out of nowhere came and extraordinarily beautiful creature. He lit on her leash and walked it like a tight rope right up to my hand. I was pretty amazed – I just stood there staring. He was a lovely shade of orange with glittering golden wings. With huge black eyes, he stared up at me and then began to chatter. Did you know that dragonflies can “talk”? Neither did I until that morning. A moment later, a second dragonfly appeared, lighting on Sally’s leash behind the orange one. He was the most spectacular shade of iridescent purple I have ever seen, with silver wings.
We met every morning that summer, those two little dragonflies, Sally and I. I learned that if I held my index finger out straight and steady, occasionally one or the other would light there briefly. Their touch was soft and gentle. Sometimes, they would be joined by their friends ~ dazzling creatures in all the colors of the rainbow. There were red ones, green ones, blue ones, yellow ones. I never realized that dragonflies came in so many different colors. We began meeting in the afternoons, too. Sometimes, we would just talk, other times they would do soaring dances for me, flying high into the sky and circling round and round. Sometimes, one would light somewhere and sit for 30 minutes while I snapped pictures. That’s how I captured “Jeffrey’s Dragonfly” ~ the beautiful orange one that is the same color as Jeffrey’s hair! I so looked forward to our visits every day!! They go to bed as soon as the sun sets, but in summer that’s not very early, so we had lots of time together.
When the Fall came and, along with it, cooler weather, our visits became fewer and farther between until one day in November, there were no dragonflies waiting for me. That was a sad day, still I knew in my heart that they would be back, and I was thrilled that March morning when I saw the first one! While they were away, I set about learning everything I could about dragonflies. Did you know, because of their wing configuration, they can hover, can fly backwards, forwards and side-to-side. They are nature’s own little helicopters. Their gossamer-like wings are pretty tough. It takes a lot to tear one, though they look so very fragile. And, yes, they come in many different colors! You just have to look closely ~
I also came across this inspiring story about dragonflies that brought even more meaning to me:
The Dragon Fly ~
In the bottom of an old pond lived some grubs. They could not understand why none of them ever came back after crawling up the stems of the lilies to the top of the water. They promised each other that the next one who made the climb would return to tell them what happened. Soon, one of them felt an urgent need to seek the surface. He climbed the stem and when he reached the surface, he rested on top of a lily pad. It was then that he went through the glorious transformation that made him a dragonfly with beautiful, amazing, translucent wings that shone many different colors in the sunlight. In vain he tried to keep his promise to return, flying back and forth over the pond and peering at his loved ones below. Then he realized that, even if they could see him, they wouldn’t recognize him for he was no longer a grub at the bottom of the pond. He had become such a radiant and beautiful creature.
Here’s the thing … Just because we can’t see our loved ones or recognize them after the transformation that we call death, it doesn’t mean they cease to exist. No, it doesn’t mean that at all.
I’ve learned a great deal about this journey of life from my amazing dragonflies. I’ve learned that our loved ones are not gone. They are all around us each and every day … perhaps in the eyes of the spectacular dragonflies.