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Saturday, October 10, 2009

Dragonfly Keepsake

A couple of Sunday's ago, Superman and I went on a nice Sunday drive. It's good for me to get back out as much as I can on the highway of life. Most of you know I do really well on country roads, and am working to get back out on the freeways or major highways. But I have to admit... I love a scenic country road far better than a freeway any day, and I was that way before the accident, too. [aren't most of us that way??]

I asked Superman to take me to this antique store I found in my new hood recently that I'd been itching to check out. They drag items out to the roadside, and in front of the store every day. [glad that's NOT my job] They'd been advertising for a TAG sale that weekend, and I was excited to see what charming items awaited me inside. I never expected to come home with a dragonfly.

The store was full of everything imaginable, and not--trinkets, babbles, furniture and antiques crammed into every spot, and then stacked on top of those spots. I loved it. But amazingly nothing was catching my eye or my " I JUST gotta have that bones". I was browsing the wares when a woman who worked there came out from behind the counter and asked us, "Do you know what dragonflies eat?"

Huh??? What??? I did my best "tilt my head to one side Barbie blond wrinkle my nose duh WTFrap look" and said, "I guess they eat small insects like gnats or something. Hmmmmmmm... I don't really know to be honest with you." Truth is, I slept through my Biology classes, or was ditching class, or was on a 25 minute bathroom hall pass smoking in the boy's room break, or was too busy writing love letters to my boyfriend of the week in school so I honestly didn't know what to tell her. She said, "Thanks." and went back behind the counter.

Now how could anyone go back to browsing, and not be curious about why she'd ask such an odd question, seemingly out of the blue??? I had to ask her why.

"Well yesterday just before we closed, a dragonfly flew into the store and ended up flying right into one of those ceiling fans above your head. It knocked it for a loop, and I kept it here overnight to see if it would make it. It's still alive so I wondered what I should feed it until it can fly away."

"Ohhhhhhh....." I answered looking up at the multiple ceiling fans whirling above us on the ceilings, and could understand how the poor thing didn't have a chance if it had been frightened or confused inside the long warehouse. I went about my shopping and wandered outside to look at the mis-mosh of treasures that had bejeweled some one's home in a previous life. I found a container of sea glass for $2.00, and scooped it up like I'd hit a gold vein deep in the Sierra's.

The woman at the counter asked me what I was going to do with the sea glass, and I explained to her that I was an artist. I could see she hadn't perceived the sea glass as anything but junk before, and nodded her head in approval. I had the same curiosity about the dragonfly. I imagined a tiny, cobalt blue dragonfly like the ones that liked to hoover around my cobalt blue kayak. I always felt like the Mothership when they flew around me, and my kayak, and then landed on my knee or arms while paddling. I'd sometimes sit for several minutes just admiring their intense colors, and unique bodies.

I never expected to see such a huge dragonfly, lying on a bright red paper plate on top of a piece of notebook paper as if it were it's protective lining. It was stunningly beautiful.

It was black with the brightest lime green stripes on its head and body, and its wings were iridescent. I'd truthfully never seen a dragonfly this large before in my life. I could see one of its arms was cupping the side of its head as if to say, "Man my head hurts." I instantly hurt for it, too. I wanted to touch it, brush it tenderly as a mother trying to soothe her child after falling off a bicycle. I gently came in for the touch, careful not to frighten it any more than I suspected it already had been, and to my sorrow, it didn't respond at all. I touched a tiny leg. Only 5 of its 6 legs remained on it perfectly intact body. "Its dead, I think." The woman said, "Oh no its still alive."

I was sad to tell her it wasn't. I gently moved it again to show her, and could see she, too, felt helpless, and sad the dragonfly had died. She took the plate off the counter and placed it back on the desk behind her. I picked up my sea glass, and we left the store. We weren't 100 feet out of the drive when I told Superman we had to go back to get the dragonfly. I saw him look at me like the lady had looked at me when she asked what I was going to do with the sea glass. "I'm going to preserve it into a piece of art. It is too beautiful to end up in the trash can."

Superman knows my heart, my mind, that I talk to the trees in the forest, and love every creature large or small. He knows my trash to treasure philosophy in life, and how I can transform anything into a beautiful piece of art. He had no objections to stopping on our way back home, and willingly went inside to rescue the dragonfly on the red paper plate. The woman was afraid it wasn't dead, and if it wasn't that it would starve. Superman assured her I would never do anything to harm it if it was still alive so she gave him the dragonfly, red paper plate and all. I held the paper plate on my lap as if it were a prize. To me it was a prize, and beauty like this should be treasured, made immortal as a piece of art that it is.
It's in good hands now. I plan to encase it in a piece of art, and preserve it for everyone to enjoy its beauty forever. I will showcase the finished art in an upcoming post. Perhaps I will offer the dragonfly artwork as the prize for the winner of my contest to name my new place. Let me know what you think about that as an option. I can assure you, the piece will be beautiful, and will be one of a kind. Just like this amazing dragonfly was.....and still is in my eyes.

One more day!!!
To put in your suggestion for a name for my new digs.
Did you notice the new pic on my side bar???
It should give you some inspiration.
~Contest closes tomorrow at midnight~


  1. You were right to go back for the dragonfly,I would have too.I look forward to seeing how you will preserve it. Kath in England

  2. Tis the season of the dragonfly evidently. I cook for a bunch of guys who don't have wives down here and my husband of course and we sit outside in the evenings, lately the dragonflies have been thick and swarming. They are BIG too. I think they eat mosquitoes or lovebugs here because that's what the prevalent insects are.
    Anxious to see what you make of him.

  3. Oh what a wonderful post. You have the gift of story telling .My kitty kills ( very sad look on my face) butterflies in the garden her fav. Is Tiger Swallow tails. I use them in my art as I like many, have a thing for wings. I believe it is because often I just want to fly way from it all !!

  4. What an beautiful story and how your love is for the insects and the world around you. I sat here imagining I was there right with you. Thank you for sharing a beautiful day in your life and so poetically.

  5. I likewise would have taken the dragonfly. We have hundreds around the pond. I love to watch them. You definately will have to show us what you do to immortalize him. I am so looking forward to this creation. You are a kind soul Lily... But then I already knew that. :-)

  6. when I was a kid, I remember someone telling us if we cussed the dragonfly would sew our lips together so we couldn't anymore. We always were a little afraid of them and were extra careful not to cuss in their presence!

  7. Yeah, I don't do that "award" thingy either.

    Hey, "Knock knock knocking on heaven's Door" favorite of Dylan!

  8. For future reference

    Dragonflies are valuable predators that eat mosquitoes, and other small insects like flies, bees, ants, and butterflies.

  9. Lille-
    Dragonflies eat freedom, and kindness and looks of wonder from small children. They never die. They simply vacate their bodies and continue on invisible. Thousands of these line fishing poles. That's what draws the one you see. Cuz I said so, Silly. ~rick

  10. I think you bringing him home was a beautiful gesture.

    Be Blessed!

  11. Following the dragonfly story - perhaps you should call your new place 'Dragonfly roost'. Dragonflies are amazing creatures - and always a delight to see. Apparently they are territorial and will patrol a section of riverbank or pond. They represent change and innocent happiness - a fitting symbol for the new phase in your new home. :o)

  12. If that's the prize, I'm rooting for me! Wait until you see my guest bath! That would fit right in. The decor is... You guessed it! Dragon flies.

    Still no home internet. UGH! Do you supposed they'd mind if I brought my recliner to the library?

  13. Lovely post once again. Beautifully narated by you :))

    I love dragonlies and other insects...they form a very important part of my imaginary world...have dedicated several artworks to them...a series totally dedicated to dragonflies :))



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