Dragonflies and Being Present
Sometimes things get so busy. Like now, for example. There are dozens of competing priorities, and endless creative and exciting endeavors in which to devote my precious time. I've been even more conscious lately of how often I'm rushing through things. Though I appreciate so much about my life and the way I have created it, I get that being present is still a challenge for me. It's one reason I'm so grateful for my friend Liane. Her free spirit inspires me to pause.
Liane has a loving, fun fairy-spirit, like the photo above. When I think of her, this is the image that comes to mind.
She spreads her arms so widely, taking in the world -- embracing art, music, and all of God's creatures with wild and inspiring abandon.
She seems not 'of this world'. I love being with her because, through her eyes, I get to see places in myself to look deeper. Though she is seldom being still (her creativity bursts through, into the world, in big and impressive waves), her ability for being present wakes me up to my own presence.
She's an author of children's books, a prolific poet, artist and musician. She's indescribable and a gift to the planet.
Here is a piece Liane recently wrote, shared here with her permission.
My suggestion is to read through to the end, with no expectation except pure delight. Be willing to get lost in the place she takes you.
We approached the lake. Two guys held two kayaks in place against the bank with their feet. I looked down.
"How do we get in?"
They both gestured to the same point in the orange boat.
"You sit on that part."
Just step down then? Hm. Okay.I stepped down and felt the wobble of the boat: her greeting. I welcomed it, gave mine back, planted my arse and felt her engulf me in love. The sides shrouded me. I felt immersed in peace.
One of the guys handed me a purple paddle. Seriously could things get any better? Apparently so.
Orange and I glided over the surface, the changing colours of the water and its riches pouring up from the base to greet us brought tears to my eyes: insects, fish, hues of changing blue and green.
I had to keep stopping because the water whirled wisps of yellow sunshine highlights for my eyes to dance with. I leaned back and soaked in the sky through my eyes: puff balls of white, powder grey and baby blue candyfloss quilting.
My friend called out to me, "You can go fast."
Ooh. I'd never thought of it. We grinned at each other and sped over the length of the lake, our arms extensions, shoulders roots of the paddles.
I did a backward row meditation, had an amazing whirling dervish moment of spinning in a circle because I had discovered I could.
The faint fear I'd had the week before of capsizing and not having much balance couldn't have been more nonsense than if it was delivered directly from Nonsense Land. My body had found a natural home. I could live on this lake, be this boat.
My friend had told me the energy of the day was so still something big was going to happen. My heart. That's what. It grew so big.
The tranquillity, birds swooping down in front of us to join in our lake dance and an unravelling of raindrops dripping on our heads added to the serenity. My heart had more for its store.
"Ooh, look," my friend said. "It's a dragonfly."
He stepped onto the tip of my forefinger, one leg at a time, turned around tickling my skin and tilted his head back to look at me. Orange wash on his wings and the glorious alien helmet face had beautiful dark love-filled eyes and a lime green heart-shaped mouth.
"Kiss me," he said.
"How can I kiss you? I'm too big."
He started bashing his antenna alternately on his head so I raised him in front of my face and gave him an air kiss with no breath in case I blew him away - literally.
He asked again, I did it again and my friend towed me to the edge to see if he wanted to perch on a rock or reed. I tried to ease him onto a rock by tilting my hand and he looked like a dog who refuses to walk another step: rear raised, legs in stubborn stance fighting the removal.
My friend laughed."He doesn't want to leave you. I've never seen such obvious body language in an insect in my life."
So we both sat in our kayaks admiring him and receiving the gift of his visit. He flapped his wings for me and vibrated through my skin.
Then he decided to wander up my finger and climb so I turned my wrist over so he could sit on the back of my hand. He liked it there. A lot. He preened for me, talked with his eyes and antenna, showed me what his wings could do while keeping his feet on me.
Every time I suggested he might like to leave he would bash his antenna about his head again. We exchanged love and his wisdom waltzed me. He danced me beyond the world of words into spirit.
One of the guys reappeared at the edge of the lake. We had run over time. The dragonfly had been with us for the last 15 minutes. It felt strange to separate. I didn't want to be mean.
"You can come with me," I said. "I'm just not sure it's right to take you from the lake."
My friend suggested some tall reeds.
I reached out with my hand - and my thoughts - letting him know I loved him and thanked him.
He left me, satisfied.
We watched him, sheer joy emanating from his face and body and aura, and paddled back to land.
Hours later, the stillness remains in me. When I slip back into thought frenzy I am going to remember I am a boat called Orange: still, welcoming, alive and that a beautiful being of alien beauty decided to grace me and embrace me in galactic love.