The dragonfly is capable of reaching speeds upwards of 45 miles per hour. Yes, that little thing. That prehistoric, perfectly aerodynamic shiney, little thing. And it achieves that kind of speed with pure efficiency and minimum of physical effort. A mere 30 flaps a minute holds this insect aloft while a mosquito requires about 600 flaps a minute to do what it does.
Here’s another instructive aspect of the dragonfly of the dragonfly – it has the ability to move in all directions. It can hover. It can move forward, backward, up, down and this side to that. All with ease. Or, rather seeming ease. As a youngster, before I was able to launch into reading the biographies of great souls (that I loved so well) I spent a lot of time out of doors. And the natural world became my first set of teachers. It’s perfectly natural for me to take an day’s instruction from a dragonfly. If it’s new to you – I’ll share some of the inspirations I draw from the capacities of this insect.
Even when I have a lot to do and have to achieve a lot in less than usual time, I don’t have to be in “a flap” about it. Just like the dragonfly, I can move quickly and still maintain my poise, focus and ease. Said another way – I don’t have to create drama around “having so much to do.” I can just do it and get it done!
You’ve heard the phrase, “turn on a dime.” It references the capacity to adapt quickly. This primordial creature models the capacity for change. It could be lovingly called the Master Quick Change Artist. Years ago I wrote for a friend, “Just because you bought the ticket doesn’t mean you have to stay for the second act.” How many times does it happen that someone stays in an untenable circumstance because they have already invested so much into the effort? This is common in relationships, volunteer efforts, job capacities, even hobbies! The dragonfly demonstrates the gracious capacity to simply go another way. Without a lot of flap and fuss.
Whoooooosh. There goes the dragonfly – leading me into more outstanding lessons from its long practice of beauty and power with grace. Will you keep your eyes open for what lessons might fly past you today?
All is waiting and all is work; all is change and all is permanence. All is grace. – Barbara Grizzuti Harrison, 1984 –
Beauty is everlasting/ and dust is for a time. – Marianne Moore –
Oh who can tell the range of joy / or set the bounds of beauty? – Sara Teasdale –
Art should be Truth; and Truth unadorned, unsentimentalized, is Beauty. – Elizabeth Borton de Trevino –
You have gathered the many powers, / you have clasped them now / Like necklaces unto your breast. – Enheduanna, 2350 BC