Our campsite is on a lake in the BWCA where the only human sound is my breath. I climb down the hill to a little stretch of land facing a small bay, take my shirt off and sunbathe skin that rarely sees light.
Black dragonflies with white stripes and translucent wings of black lace ride the breeze over the water’s edge. One flies to me and lands on my forearm. I feel presence and my mind shifts gears in the way it does when I communicate with animals. I open myself and silently ask if Dragonfly wants to communicate.
Dragonfly speaks, “Be still.”
I breathe steady, feel the earth under my feet and the dragonfly legs tickling my arm. Suddenly I am conscious of my whirling mind.
Dragonfly leaves. “You lost focus.”
“I know,” I respond and take a deep breath.
As I wrote those words in my journal, three dragonflies flew directly at my head, startling me. “Pay attention,” she says as she lands on my shoulder. The sound of their wings was like the crinkling of paper only faster and more delicate. “Don’t get so caught up in the words you forget to be here.” She flew off, circled over me, briefly landed on my knee, then joined the others to ride the breeze.
I hold still and feel tears well up. “I’m listening.” One lands on my right arm, then a second. A third lands on my right shoulder. A fourth on my left knee. Amazed, I hold still. “A gift,” I murmur and I listen.
“We are healing your heart,” I hear as a fifth dragonfly flies into the left side of my chest – my heart – and bounces off. I feel a stab of joy.
“We are taking the pain. You have many layers.”
As I wrote these words in my journal, one dragonfly sat on my thumb, one on my belly, one on my heart, and one on my left arm. The one on my thumb watched the words take form on paper as I wrote. I felt approval and acknowledgement. They all flew off then two return to rest on my heart.
“Be still,” Dragonfly tells me again. “See from behind your eyes.”
My crazy mind calms and I think. “I have much to unlearn.” Then Dragonfly sings a song by my friend James Schattauer, “There is no wrong. There only is the learning to find that love is all we have to give.”
Silence. Then a whisper, “You are worthy. You are whole.” For a moment, everything within me comes to perfect stillness.
As I wrote these words in my journal, four rested on me and a fifth circled my head. A spider crawled onto my belly and I jump. Two dragonflies stayed with me. Loons sang from across the lake. I felt settled, calm for the first time in a long while. Then a sweat bee stung me. “Pay atention.”
Dragonfly continues, “There is joy all around you, in this very moment. It is within you. You must spend more time in stillness and in nature. There is too much noise, too much busy-ness. You may think our flying is busy-ness. It is not. We do not think. We just are.” Dragonfly quiets.
In the stillness, I hear the lake softly brushing the rocks. Dragonfly zips across the water then returns to perch on my arm, looking intently at me with her multifaceted eyes.
“Now I am resting on you, my wings spread in the warmth of the sun, feeling you translate this knowing into words you humans understand.”
Other Dragonfly voices chime in,
“And I am on this rock.”
“And I am hovering over the water.”
“And I am coasting on the breeze.”
“None of us think about it. We just act.”
“Your hand moved so I moved. I didn’t think about it first.”
As I wrote these words in my journal, a dragonfly perched with it’s front two legs on my journal, peering at my words as I wrote. Another rested on my arm, gazing intently at me and chewing her mosquito lunch loudly. These have yellow and red markings on their wings.
I asked Dragonfly a question. “Humans talk about needing to move from reacting to responding so we can be more conscious in our communications. What’s the difference?”
Dragonfly answers immediately. “You are here to master your emotions and your mind, both beautiful tools of the Divine. As you gain mastery, you can create what you dream. If you let your emotions or your mind do the dreaming and the choosing, you are reacting. When you learn to let your spirit lead, your soul responds using your emotions as a guide and your mind as a creative tool.”
“It seems so complex!” I sigh.
“Not really. You make it so because you try to understand with your mind.” Dragonfly states.
As I wrote these final words in my journal with a dragonfly on the thumb of my writing hand, riding the waves of my words as I wrote. I felt her approving nod. She flew off and I knew the conversation was over.
I close my journal, feeling peaceful. My heart wide open. Rising, I face each direction offering a pinch of tobacco in gratitude for the gifts of Dragonfly. With the sun still high on this long summer day so close to Solstice, I climb the hill back to the campsite.