Magic is seeing wonder in nature’s every little thing. Seeing how wonderful the fireflies are, and how magical are the dragonflies.
~ Ama H. Vanniarachchy
Always been fascinated by dragonflies. While I love to see butterflies and hummers, my whole attitude shifts at the site of one dragonfly. So, you can imagine the thrill when I happened upon this little darling the other day.
I do love to watch my hummers, but quickly discovered they are mean little @#$%s, and extremely territorial. That said, I still love having them around and one can learn a lot by looking at their life. And a butterfly’s ability to ride the breeze always offer a sense of calm with their slow-motion flights.
But dragonflies……they are the true ballet dancers of the insect realm. Graceful and poised, the dragonfly seems to glide…but with purpose. It personifies the theory of working smarter instead of harder as it moves at about 20-30mph, flies in every direction and can hover with the best hummer….all while only flapping those iridescent wings at about 30 times per minute.
The dragonfly is born in the water and lives up to four years there as a nymph, where its sole purpose in life is to eat. When it emerges from the water, sheds its skin for the last time, it transforms into an adult…but only for a fraction of time…not living more than a few months. During that time, its focus is unwavering. A voracious predator, the dragonfly should be welcome in any garden as a deterrent for mosquitoes and other bothersome insects. And, it accomplishes its objectives with the utmost simplicity and efficiency.
But here’s the real reason I love dragonflies.
With their very short adult life spans, they exemplify the art of living life to the fullest. By living in the moment we become aware of what is important and what is not. The adult dragonfly is acutely aware of its purpose and makes the most of every second of life. Something we humans have lost sight of over the centuries. How often do the unimportant things of life crowed out our sense of purpose? How often are we derailed by events and activities that only serve to distract us from what we were really created to accomplish in life?
The way a dragonfly travels through life is an inspiration. Every aspect of this tiny insect portrays the ability to move and change at a moment’s notice….in whatever direction is needed. A dragonfly rotates its four wings independently to adapt quickly to needed changes in direction. Changes in perspectives and how we respond to life is just one of the lessons that can be learned from a dragonfly. When life throws those curve balls and plot twists, do we roll with it and adapt, or are we resistant to the point of destroying our emotional and spiritual well being?
Finally, a dragonfly’s eyes are designed to view life with nearly 360 degree vision, using about 80% of its brain to process all that it sees. A dragonfly can multi-task and calculate three things when it’s on the offensive: the distance of its prey, the direction it’s moving, and the speed it’s flying. In the blink of an eye (maybe faster), the dragonfly calculates exactly where it needs to be in order to intercept its meal in mid-air. Did you get that? It doesn’t pursue…it intercepts. And, it has a 95% success rate. I’m not sure how we can intercept the aspirations we have in life, but intercepting those dreams sounds a lot better than merely chasing them.
A dragonfly can see a wider spectrum of colors than our human eye. Not only can it see the normal color spectrum, a dragonfly can also see UV light and has the ability to see the same way we see sun and water glare with polarized sunglasses. How cool would that be to have the ability to see virtually everything that’s coming from almost any direction and any situation, AND process it almost instantaneously. That would definitely be a super power that would really come in handy.
The dragonfly is mainly viewed in different cultures as a symbol of change and self realization. The dragonfly elegantly controls its movements and choreographs those movements whether over water, on land or in the air, depending on its situation and environment. We should all be so flexible and intuitive in how we navigate through life…being able to change life direction in an instant. As a species that has been on the earth about 300 million years, this prehistoric-looking insect’s testament to being able to adapt and survive is unparalleled, despite the fact that many dragonflies are intercepted by predators such as bird, frogs, toads etc.
Depending on the culture, dragonfly symbolism include: power, agility, happiness, speed, and purity. A recurring theme is the dragonfly encourages us to gracefully dance in the light on iridescent wings, and embrace the on-going transformation and renewal of life.
It’s no wonder they are beloved in almost every culture.