Legend of the Dragonfly

Dragonflies represent positive change and transformation, in many cultures, and have always appeared before me during challenging times in my life. The first time I was truly aware of their presence was in my early 20s on a trip to Europe. While sitting in a beautiful city square, in Valencia, Spain, contemplating the choices I was making in my life I was visited by not one but four dragonflies! I couldn’t help but think that there was a message I was being sent.

(side story: I have always referred to my children as my little dragonflies, starting with my first born in 2013 – I did not know at the time that I would have four little dragonflies of my own! You see with the birth of each of my children I was given the gift of change, transformation, and growth – whether I was ready for it or expecting it.)

The legend tells the story of a young water beetle who lives in a small pond covered in lily pads. The life of the water beetle and his companions is a simple life. Everything is consistent, constant, and never changing. No one questions what is beyond the water, what the bright light shining above is, what casts shadows in the water or what causes the ripples on the surface. Occasionally, however, a water beetle becomes curious, perhaps you could even say restless, tired of the simplicity and lack of change. The begin to question who they are, where they are and what they are. When this happens a courageous water beetle, facing his/her fears, swims to the surface and climbs on to a lily pad – never to return to the depths of the water again. And during these times many of the water beetles feel sadness by the loss of their loved one who has slipped away.

One day a young water beetle begins to feel the restlessness, the heart whispers in her soul that entice her to swim to the surface as other brave water beetles have done before. After being begged by friends not to go, she promises that she will return to tell them what lies above the surface. Emerging from the water the beetle catches her breath on a bright green lily pad. The bright light, or sun, is warm above the water and she falls asleep. While resting and dreaming the water beetle is physically transformed – her long body stretches even longer, her colouring changes to electric blue, and she sprouts elegant, strong, mesmerizing wings. When she wakes, she takes to the skies, amazed by the beauty that surrounds her – she didn’t realize that such beauty existed, and she is reminded of her loved ones below the surface of the pond.

She returns to the pond, attempting to penetrate the water to tell them not to be afraid, that they will be rewarded when they are courageous. She soon realizes that it is impossible to reach her loved ones. That she cannot convince them to gather their fear and transform it into bravery. Instead, she recognizes that she must wait patiently, without judgement, for her brothers and sisters to face their fears at their own pace. And so, she waits, but does not give up on trying to encourage them to the surface, constantly diving down to show them there is more.

There will come a time when the other beetles come to the surface and join the dragonfly in the warmth of change and transformation.

And this is my hope for my children and yours, may we inspire them to have the courage to reach beyond the comfort of their surroundings, to face their fears, to ask for help when needed, to talk kindly to themselves and to bask in the warm rays of transformation and growth.     

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