Why Damselfly Transformations?

Transformation & Hope
Joanne Shank, Acrylic

Creativity and Awareness
Joanne Shank, Acrylic

Insight and Clarity
Joanne Shank, Acrylic

My Spiritual and Artistic Connection to the Dragonfly

In the spring of 2006, at a critical 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 beetle. What 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/damselfly 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 afterward, the beautiful delicate wings unfolded right before my eyes. This beautiful damselfly 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 most profound moments of personal interrogation that lies the potential for inner wisdom.  Within that wisdom, can emerge creativity that will move us beyond our limitations into the realm of all possibilities.

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