What I’ve Learned From Dragonflies

Dara LevanBlog1 Comment

Nature nudges us with subtle signs, if we are open to receiving the messages. I was sitting at the table with my dear Aunt Lori. We were talking about our beloved Pearly, my husband’s grandmother, who was a mentor and like a mother to me. I told Aunt Lori how much I missed Grandma Pearl. I also shared that I feel indescribable gratitude for Grandma’s presence in my life, which is an eternal, guiding light. After a heartfelt, loving hug, Aunt Lori left and I walked back to the kitchen nook.

I held the photo of Pearly and smiled at her calm, loving face. She’d be thrilled about the close bond Aunt Lori and I continue to share. Suddenly a dragonfly bigger than my hand appeared outside the window. It captured me immediately. It playfully demanded my attention like a toddler tugging her momma’s hand, as if it had something to say. This unusually large insect stared at me, insisting I engage with it. So I did.

I sat back down at the kitchen table. I watched it gracefully flit and fly for a solid ten minutes. It was wild. I’ve seen and noticed dragonflies for years. This felt different. It felt intentional. I realize now the magical moment we shared was the first of many dragonfly visits.

Dragonflies represent change and transformation. I chose to write about this today as we welcome the spring season. As buds blossom, winds shift, and birds flock, I have been noticing more and more of these fascinating insects. The growing presence of dragonflies in my life is a parallel to my own rebirth and renewal.

They appear so dainty, so fragile, so transparent. And they appear in the most mundane places, yet they are such extraordinary creatures. We went to a dealership to purchase a car earlier this year. On our way into the building, I saw a family of dragonflies flitting from one blade of grass to another.

I told my husband to walk ahead. Twenty minutes later (I had no idea that much time had passed!), I joined him reluctantly. I was so captivated by their movements that I paused and watched. Despite the whipping wind, which blew through the blanket of grass, these beauties remained poised on the thin, green blades. I watched as their translucent wings braced the wind.  As if they could speak, the dragonflies collectively decided to move to another area.

These insects, which signify transformation, appeared yet again this weekend. I marched in Parkland with my husband, son, and dear friends. We considered going to Washington, D.C. But I felt strongly that supporting and walking with our Parkland and South Florida community was right for our family.

One of the most powerful moments—there were many—was when we walked past Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. I slowed down to observe the thousands of people who marched with us. I looked at each loving, supportive banner that hugged the metal fence.

And then I saw them. Dragonflies. I’d noticed a few frolicking overhead during the rally. But these graceful insects once again beckoned. I crouched in the dirt as they flew in groups of three. Thankfully my son and husband continued walking. I was entranced.

I took photos and video as shoes of all sizes marched past me. I again thought about my Grandma Pearl, who I know would’ve been right by my side today. (She, like me, advocated for others and served on several nonprofit boards.) My thoughts seem to mimic the dragonflies’ movements; they meandered in my mind and jumped from one topic to another.

I also thought about the fierce, inspiring teens who are transforming our nation. Like the dragonflies, these passionate kids are shining light in the dark. They are demanding action and change. Dragonflies also represent emotional flexibilty—these young souls are swiftly teaching a crash course to adults worldwide .

It occured to me how much we can learn from the dragonfly. They are able to move in six directions. Dragonflies hover like the drone that documented our peaceful protest in Parkland. When they choose, dragonflies can also fly backward, vertically, and rise high above. They’re able to move more than 40 miles an hour. Their agile movements are fascinating to watch.

There’s much that lies beneath the surface for all of us. Dragonflies remind us that we must emerge from deep waters that may cause us to sink. They are born in the water and emerge ready for flight. We, too, can evolve and rise from murky waters.

Dragonflies also symbolize adaptability and illumination. They can be a gentle sign for us to make changes that will elevate our souls. Their wings change in color as they age. I am grateful that my own wings have expanded and grown stronger in recent years.

Dragonflies also invite us to be aware of illusions; I have delved deeper this year into dense, cloudy situations. I have clearly seen the facades of people who are not what they appear. And I’ve learned from the dragonfly that it’s time to discern others’ true intentions. As my own wings morph, I am flying away from toxicity and soaring toward the light.

I am listening. I am receptive. I am no longer ignoring the insights, which have nudged me since I was a young girl. I am adapting to the rapid renewal of my own spirit. I am exploring my own garden with the agility, joy, and strength of the dragonfly.

One Comment on “What I’ve Learned From Dragonflies”

  1. As I read your story a dragonfly flutteted at my kitchen window. I heard a myth once that dragonflies were dragons at one time that’s how they got their name. They represent strength and wisdom and although they don’t have teeth they can crush their prey with the strength of their mandibles. Loved your beautiful story about dragonflies.

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