Watching Dragonflies Hatch

I was filling up the watering can from the pond when I noticed a small bug-looking thing hanging from another bug on the dock steps. It was odd enough for me to take a closer look. Then I realized I was seeing one bug emerging from a bug, or rather, a casing.   Dragonflies. Watering chores would have to wait. I got my glasses and camera and settled onto the warm planks of the dock to watch.IMG_2349

This bizarre looking thing is a dragonfly emerging from its nymph stage, where it has lived in the water for a year. I can’t wrap my head around how what was a bug is now a bug-casing and there’s a new bug coming out of it.

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The dragonfly has emerged. At this point, It looks more like a worm than a dragonfly, and see how tiny the wings are? As it hangs there, it gets larger and when I compare the casing it came out of, I wonder how it ever fit.

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Then the wings grow–gossamer incredible bits of translucence. Are they unfolding or expanding or both? Really, it is a miracle.

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Then more hanging there while the wings get even larger.

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Now the dragonfly, looking like a dragonfly and twice as large as its original casing, crawls up and faces the wind. It takes its tiny legs and rubs them over its giant eyes. I am so, so eager to watch it fly. But it waits, wings back, more facing into the wind, more eye rubbing.

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And then it happens. The wings that have been up to now, straight back, suddenly open, two on each side, and like a prop plane warming up, they vibrate, feeling the wind.

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And then it takes off, up into the air, and away.

From the water to the air, from an aquatic bug to a flying thing, in less than two hours. And we humans think we’re so clever with our gadgets. We’re just lumbering blind things, compared to this miracle.

Wood Thrush Morning

It is a soft, wood thrush morning this morning and sure enough, as soon as I step outside in the misty half-light, I hear him. An ethereal, bamboo flute song that echoes the mystery of the morning.

Hearing it coaxes out my child-wonder and I breathe in deeply and fully. A gentle and magical beginning to my day.

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Just Try

I have lots of irons in the fire.

I like to have various projects in various stages and work on them bits at a time. Years ago, I worked at an antiquarian bookstore, and one of my jobs was to do rare and out of print book searches for customers. I created an index card file box I labeled “searches-initiated.” I had a second index card file box labeled “searches-with-some results.” A third file box held “searches completed-and-client-contacted-but-not-yet-final.” To cap it all off, I had a fourth–yes, a fourth–index card file box labeled “passing-through.” This last was for all those index cards where the books were picked up and paid for by the customer. In other words, done. My ostensible reason for the passing-through file was, what if the customer came back and needed some information that was only contained in that little index card? But the  truth was I wasn’t ready to let all that work go. The passing-through file was visual validation of a job completed.

Right now I have lots of writerly things out for consideration—a few articles, queries for books, a web site design, articles half-written and ideas for more. This full plate makes me feel like I’m doing something, but the thing I have a hard time with is, as I’m sure you’ve figured out, letting something go. Like many writers, I think something can always be tweaked. But when enough of these half-finished pieces pile up, I can get discouraged.

Discouragement is when I know I’ve been spinning my wheels long enough. It’s time to commit. Whether it is exactly right in my estimation or not, it’s time to let it go out for someone else’s estimation. It’s time to just try.

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