Why Damselfly Transformations?

Transformation & Hope
Joanne Shank, Acrylic

My Spiritual and Artistic Connection to the Dragonfly

In the spring of 2006, at an important turning point in my life, I found myself at an outdoor center with my grade 8 students. The group was exploring the riverbank and I decided to sit by the water and enjoy the calm and soothing feelings of connecting with nature. Looking down, I noticed what looked like the dried-up carcass of some type of beetle. What actually caught my attention was the fact that something seemed to be emerging from it.

Intrigued, I asked one of the guides that accompanied the group if he knew what it was. The guide explained that it was a dragonfly transforming from its nymph stage. I continued watching and in a matter of a few minutes the entire body, a beautiful florescent green, appeared. Then, not long afterwards, the beautiful delicate wings unfolded right before my eyes.

This beautiful dragonfly, just sat there for a few minutes, regaining her strength I imagine. She stayed there just long enough to allow me to take in and appreciate her beauty. And then she flew away…

Before I saw Miss Damselfly that day, I had more questions than answers and more fear than hope. Seeing her transformation, gave me the strength and faith to accept the changes and challenges I was facing at that time. She inspired me to reframe those challenges as opportunities for growth. She also helped me make peace with my questions and uncertainty. I have since realized that it’s in our deepest most authentic moments of personal interrogation that lies the potential for inner wisdom. And within that wisdom, if allowed, can emerge a creativity that will move us beyond our limitations into the realm of all possibilities.

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