If the Dragonfly can do it…Why can’t I?



A Dragonfly, if one were to really look at it- with critical eye-,
does not look as if it were made to fly

With a body, some would say is much too long and
With wings of a transparency that makes rice paper look strong

the Dragonfly simply nods as if takes off
Showing me that flight relies mainly on belief

and if the Dragonfly can do it, then why can’t I?

I am a huge fan of animal totems. Ask my family members, our house is filled with them. I have been known to almost drive off the road as I try to catch a glimpse of birds or other creatures, I am sure are bringing me some message or meaning.

Dragonflies have been making an appearance in my life right now in big ways. Although there was the awkward moment in the grocery store, when my teenage stepdaughter pulled a balloon from the floral area and proclaimed “Oh, a butterfly. I really want a balloon.” My response was, “Uh, I think that is a dragonfly” (as I contemplated my concerns of the science curriculum in the local schools 🙂 ).

I finally decided to put pastels to paper and perhaps draw one of these creatures. I still can’t project ahead with my art right now. I used to have shapes in mind before drawing. Now, it is blank page and blank mind and then I just let it flow.

To me, the image indicates the impossible flights so many of us take in our lives. The overcoming of trials, tribulations, horrors (big and small), injustices, fears, anguishes, terrors, traumas, abuses, and more.

And I wonder when I hear some stories, how people have picked themselves up. And I think of the image of the dragonfly in this picture- leading with heart, flying with its impossible form through the darkness and flying towards the light.

And I like to think the dragonfly symbolizes so many of us.
I did not know this, but there is a lot of research about dragonfly flight dynamics. I am a physiologist and not a physicist, so most of the information was well beyond me, but if you are interested you should check it out.

10 thoughts on “If the Dragonfly can do it…Why can’t I?

  1. Oh, no! I killed a dragonfly once! I did not mean to do it. But I was sitting behind someone on a motorcycle (and we were going really fast!) and a dragonfly (and they are HUUUGEE here in India) managed to fly down under my t-shirt and I screamed and just started beating it. I did not know what it was, and I was so scared!!! It was a mess after I had smashed it…….It was quite traumatizing really! So now I am scared of them! I hope that does not mean something bad!

  2. I have always loved dragonflies; they remind me of time at my grand-parent’s cottage as a child; and of sunday morning hikes at Crawford Lake with my kids when they were little. You may know this already, but to Sams and Carson’s book, Medicine Cards, Dragonflies are a sign of change, wisdom and enlightenment; they challenge us to see beyond the physical reality. Feels a lot like what you were saying in your post!! Kim

  3. kp’s comment above that the symbolism of dragonflies is wisdom and enlightenment and you put a heart where the head is – now THAT is powerful indeed! Following your heart to wisdom and enlightenment. Yes, very apropos.

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