The Red Dragonfly

This story is as true as true can be, I swear it. In fact, some of you may even remember the first part.

Late last August, probably close to where we’re coming up now, I was outside working on my pond. This should be unremarkable, but it’s not…because I’m forever working on that damn pond. The previous owners of the house planted a pine tree/bush/foliage-like thing right next to it, so you can frequently find me on my knees in the rocks by the pond, fishing out the pump and emptying out the filter of pine needles so that the water will continue to flow instead of becoming stagnant and stale and replete with algae. I share this with you so you will realize that I have spent enough time kneeling by this pond in the past seven years to be intimately acquainted with its flora and fauna.

I don’t remember the exact date last August, but I know it was in the last week of the month. If I wanted to, I could go look back on Facebook and it would probably tell me the exact day. For our purposes, near the end of the month will do. I was out at the pond, sharp rocks digging into my knees and my arms up to the elbow in gross pond water, when I had a visitor. A large, bright red dragonfly showed up near the water and just hovered there.   I stopped my work to admire it; I had seen many small, bluish dragonflies in the past, but never a red one, and never so large. It was really shocking to see something so beautiful in a place as ordinary as my struggling pond. It transformed me momentarily, taking my mind off the constant daily disappointment of our dismal adoption journey. I felt that disappointment in my soul all day, every day, but for a short time I forgot all that as I stared at that dragonfly. After a couple of minutes, I realized this guy wasn’t leaving, so I went back to my task at hand, thinking it was pretty amusing I had a dragonfly companion for my pump work. But then, it started to fly around me, and the pond, and just sort of bobbed and weaved around for several more minutes, as though it had no place to go. Eventually this beautiful crimson dragonfly did disappear, but I didn’t see him go; he went away while I was looking down at the pump, fishing for pine needles.

This was at an especially dark time in our journey; in fact, I think we had all but given up. I wasn’t so far gone though, that I didn’t realize the significance of an event such as this one. How had I spent all that time by the pond all these years and never seen a red dragonfly? Surely it couldn’t be a coincidence. I’m not an exceptionally superstitious person, but I was superstitious enough to believe God had sent me a dragonfly for a reason. I didn’t think it meant the stork was arriving the following week, but I do recall thinking that dragonfly meant I should hold onto hope and not give up, after all.

I started thinking about it more and more and finally Googled “red dragonfly meaning” on my phone. I was certain it meant “hope” or “luck” or “faith” or something equally cool that would give me a reason to get excited about my lengthy visit from my dragonfly buddy. Here is what I learned:

  • Red dragonflies symbolize the transformation of death (someone who is visited by one may have just lost a loved one)
  • They are exceptionally rare
  • They do not dart away like other dragonflies, they tend to hang around their subject for a while, as if they are paying a visit

Don’t believe me? I bet you’re googling “red dragonflies” right now! Make sure to read more than one source for multiple interpretations!

I told a few people about the dragonfly visit, and I wrote a brief status update about it on my Facebook page, but I didn’t get too crazy about sharing what had happened. I wasn’t even sure myself. But then, on September 1st, the most wonderful thing happened: we got the call that our son was born, and to come pick him up at the hospital! Only one week after the visit from the dragonfly!

One dragonfly visit alone doesn’t prove much and it doesn’t even mean a lot…if it’s only one visit.

Last week, I was out working on the damn pump again (will those pine needles ever stop falling?) when I was visited by yet another dragonfly. Like last year, it was large, bright red, and it stuck around for quite a long time. It seemed curious what I was doing, and why a grown woman was covered in pond water and speaking unsavory words to a plastic pump piece. But it stayed a good while, and this time when I noticed it, I didn’t look away until it left. I felt like I owed him that. I do wonder if it was the same dragonfly as last year? Probably not, but maybe. Maybe. Stranger things have happened!

Sometimes there is meaning in something as simple as a visit from a dragonfly.

2 thoughts on “The Red Dragonfly

  1. I know what you mean. In the very early weeks of pregnancy of my now 10 week old daughter who was coming to us after a long period of secondary infertility and a miscarriage we wound up with 2 juvenile brown snakes in our house. Despite them being common in the area it is unusual to have them in the house particularly when we aren’t prone to leaving doors open etc. And to have two at once, well that is just crazy. Anyway some see snakes as a fertility symbol and the more poisonous the better. I was totally freaked about the experience but a part of me decided it was a sign all would be well with this pregnancy and well, I am now holding that very baby 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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