26 August 2013

damselfly, dragonfly, damselfly, dragonfly (a letter to tuck in your pocket)

One of the best things about being out and about in the British countryside in sunshine in the late summer is the dragonflies. They flit and dart, and mostly their sheer, luminescent wings glint a thousand times more beautifully in the sunlight. As for some of those species that don’t possess the natural irridescent beauty the wonder is seen in their size, like miniature bi-planes dancing in their solo aeronautical displays. 

And are most are too fidgety to be photographed or identified.

Yesterday I was watching a blue-hued specimen and trying vainly to capture an image with the camera. For one shot the lens and insect were aligned but because of the creature’s speed its definition still merged with the blurred background. With the help of filters this was the best I could muster:

Many of us know relationships where the other person wants to rescue us, fix us and stealthily impose their opinion on us. For want of a better expression (and for all its potential sexist connotations) to them we are a damsel in distress. And for the most part if the circumstances or atmosphere becomes too difficult we can set boundaries and keep our distance. But if that person is a close relation for whom you care desperately if something were to happen to them, boundary setting is not quite so straight forward. Just difficult, messy and painful.

I don’t know what the technical difference is between a dragonfly and a damselfly and the ones I have seen have never kept still enough to co-operate with species identification. The cryptic twitter quote I made was something of a way to try and align these insects with thinking about people in our lives who are rescuers and do this because they know no other way and are driven by a strong need to avoid fixing themselves.

Whether or not the tweet made sense to anyone else is beside the point, because that doesn’t really matter at the end of the day. The One who created us and the dragon/damselflies knows and understands. 

As if to emphasise it all I have seen a number of dragonflies elsewhere since yesterday, on the button tin as I was doing some clothes repairs last night

and again this morning on a cover photo on someone’s facebook profile.

If that is God’s way of saying ‘I get you’ that is enough for me.

And it is what I want to keep on the letter in my pocket, next to my heart.

Linking up with Ruth & Sabrina at #LettersTo (at Ruth's place this week)


  1. Hi Jo,

    I enjoyed reading your letter :) I too love dragonflies and damselflies. I love how God speaks to us through the beauty of His creation.

    1. Thanks Anita, I love too how He helps us see different things & sets our hearts right.

  2. Oh, lovely! Thank you for this beautiful reflection; it has really made me think. I suspect it's going to be on my mind all day.
    Love dragonflies; we get a lot of them in our garden. I'll never look at one in the same way again.

    1. Thank you Helen - you are so lucky to get dragonflies in your garden!

  3. I love this idea of dragonflies suddenly appearing everywhere as God's way of saying 'I get you'. Thank you for sharing! x

  4. I love the little ways God shows up! Precious reminders :-) Thank you for linking up, Jo! x