The other evening, as I sat on the couch near an open window, trying to catch a breeze, a strange thing happened. Computer on my lap and thoroughly focused on a great DVD tutorial, I suddenly heard a thud on the window next to me. I paused the video and removed one side of the earphones, twisting that ear to the window to listen. Nothing. Re-establishing my comfortable position, I started the video once again, and then….what was that? Pause. Remove earphone. Listen. flutter….flutter….flutter…. Oh no! A small bird must have flown into the window, I thought, as I unplugged and stood to assess the damage. I turned on the outside light and there, lying feet up on the deck, was a beautiful, big dragonfly. My joy at watching the video suddenly turned to sadness for this gorgeous creature. Then, ….flutter….flutter….flutter…, I watched as the dragonfly, with all his might, flapped his iridescent wings and tried to fly. Should I go outside and try to flip him over? Should I just leave him to die in peace? I thought he had probably badly damaged something (does a dragonfly have a neck) on impact so decided to let nature take its course.
I returned to the video, but my head and my heart were with the dragonfly and I knew there was no way that I would get him out of my mind. Shutting down the computer, I stood to put it away but stopped to lean against the screen and take a look. Still in the same position, the brave dragonfly kept up his fight for life. flutter….flutter….flutter…. Each time he made this incredible effort, the dragonfly would rise up an inch or so and then drop back to the floor. I knew he was dying and there was nothing I could do about it. It broke my heart.
About thirty or forty minutes later, I returned to that room to close the window for the night. I held my breath as I peered out to see if he had finished his fight…..but he was gone. My first thought was that he had fluttered to the edge of the deck and fallen off. My heart sunk. It was over.
Then, as I reached to close the window, there he was, in all his strength and glory, clinging to the screen and looking straight in at me, as if saying, “Look at me! I made it all on my own.” He lived! My whole being felt lighter. I moved back slowly so as not to frighten him. He stayed. He stared. I stared. I tried to take a photo, but it was too dark and the flash only bounced off the screen. Even when I approached with the camera, he did not move. Even when I set off the flash, he did not move. Suddenly, I had a chill and felt a deep connection to this creature. “Who are you,” I asked aloud? “Are you someone I know? Are you here with a message?” I just stood there staring, and he stared back.
In the morning, he was gone.