Sunday, September 16, 2012

My Dragonfly

On the last full day of my mom's life I was on an interview in a beautiful, spiritual and nurturing place. The day was full of warmth and surprises including the unexpected reunion with two very old friends. While sitting on a bench I was visited by a Red-Veined Darter dragonfly similar to the one pictured above. It landed on my hand and my friend and I immediately felt its presence. It impressed us enough to keep us sitting in silence for more than 5 minutes. Then it flew away.

I was so moved by the experience it compelled me to look into the science of these creatures on my iPhone on the way home. What I found is that they have been around for over 300 million years and are surrounded by folklore and mythology.  Dragonflies are meaningful symbols worldwide in surprisingly similar ways with one overwhelmingly common theme: Change.

In the first year or more of their lives, they live in the water as nymphs.  When they metamorphose into the flying creatures we recognize as dragonflies, they live only a few weeks. "...They're symbolic of a sense of self realization; a symbol of the sense of self that comes with maturity."

To the Native American Lakotas, dragonflies can teach illusion. They tell us that things are not always as they seem, and that life itself is not always what it appears to be. "...They are a reminder that when our deeper thoughts rise to the surface we must pay attention - there are lessons to be learned."

To the Japanese, they are symbols of new joy and light, and speak of how they are the dragons of old in a new expression. "...When dragonfly appears, it is time to trust in the power of light."

"The peacemaker, the symbol of transformation, the being of light who helps us see through our illusions – who also helps us become our illusion and enduring. The dragonfly demonstrates the journey we all must take to become our truest selves."
- Chris Luttichau, Animal Spirit Guides

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