Thursday, June 26, 2014

Sitting Dragonfly Vigil

Yesterday I stepped out back to pick a green onion for my breakfast, and discovered a dead dragonfly on the patio. I knelt down to pick him up and he began whirring his wings; he wasn't dead, just dying. I shooed the cat away and brought the beautiful blue and black creature into the house. I gave him a drop of water, which made his wings beat and his legs move. Clearly he couldn't fly anymore. I couldn't think of how to help him, and recalled that dragonflies don't live very long in their adult form. I could, however, make him safe from cats and other predators and give him a place of honor on my kitchen counter, holding the space for him as he passed into Light.

His eyes were like geometric blue opals. They had a depth to them, like a glass gem or a bead of water. My four-year-old remarked that the dragonfly's patterns on his body reminded him of a totem pole. I covered him with a bug-box lid so the cat wouldn't get him but he could breathe, and we left for our trip to the science museum.

When we returned, I thought he had passed, but when I touched him one leg moved. His opalescent eyes had turned a dull black from the top down, with just a crescent of blue at the bottom. I gave him Reiki, hoping it would ease his transition. While he was "just" a bug, he was fierce and beautiful, and I at least wanted to honor his slow death.

When he died, his eyes were completely black. You could literally see the life force leave him through his eyes.

I set him on my altar. Dragonfly is about illusion, and I am writing a book about Zen right now, which is all about the illusions we carry in our heads about life, about each and every thing we encounter. The problem is not that we live in illusion, it is that we think the illusion is "real." Dragonfly teaches us to hold the dichotomy of illusion and what we call reality. He teaches us about the illusion of life and death, and the dichotomy of death being real and final, and not.

I give thanks to the Universe for gifting me this honor of holding vigil while a beautiful Blue Eyed Darner. Aho.

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