“The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and science”
It is believed, in many cultures, that dragonflies have special significance. Not only are they beautiful, swift, and elegant, but they are mysterious and diaphanous and represent freedom and change, and the easy acceptance of both.
I became enamored with dragonflies the year my father died…1999. I saw them while he was in his short coma at the very end of his life. I saw them immediately after he passed, at his funeral, and even back at home in Texas. I began seeing them all around me. At his grave site, one very large one landed on the temporary headstone and waited with us while we grieved his loss.
When I went back home to Texas, they would light on the antennae of my car or the post of the fence and sit there for what seemed like hours, watching. One day in particular, while I was getting my daughter and son ready for their first day of school (it was my daughter’s first day of kindergarten), a large greenish dragonfly alighted on the antennae of my Suburban that was parked in the driveway and in full view from the kitchen window. This beautiful dragonfly, something that is normally so elusive and fleeting, sat there during the whole morning routine and even stayed there as we walked noisily past it toward the bus stop.
I envisioned my dad up there with all of his friends. “Hey guys, let’s go down and take a look!” And, every time I see a dragonfly, even to this day, I say “Hi, Papa”. It doesn’t matter whether I am alone or not. Anyone who knows me, knows that this will happen when I see a dragonfly.
Almost ten years later, a very good friend of mine, who knew my passion for dragonflies and understood and accepted their significance in my life, took a picture of a large golden dragonfly that happened to land on his desk INSIDE the auto shop that he worked in. He took a picture and texted it to me. Unfortunately, I lost the picture when my phone got broken.
I have a dragonfly pin, a dragonfly Tiffany lamp, dragonfly figurines…even a dragonfly tattoo.
So, when I was recently at The Oasis with a good friend of mine, I couldn’t help but snap this shot….and then write about it.
Here is a poem that captures some of what I feel. It is written by Louise Bogan and it’s called The Dragonfly:
You are made of almost nothing
But of enough
To be great eyes
And diaphanous double vans;
To be ceaseless movement,
Link between water and air,
Earth repels you.
Light touches you only to shift into iridescence
Upon your body and wings.
You split into the heat.
Swift beyond calculation or capture
You dart into the shadow
Which consumes you.
You rocket into the day.
But at last, when the wind flattens the grasses,
For you, the design and purpose stop.
And you fall
With the other husks of summer.
Dad, this is for you. As I write, with unending love in my heart for you that will last for all time, I cry silently because I miss you. But I sure am glad that you pulled some strings up there enough to give me such beautiful and never-ending imagery to always remember you by. So that I, and my family, will never forget.
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