Thursday, 10 March 2011

Why I chose Sapphire Dragonflies....

Since I’ve been dragging everyone who reads my blog to travel the darker path I’ve been on the last 2 weeks, I thought I’d try and lighten things up a little today. For all of you who’ve been content to travel with me, I thank you. For those who were hesitant, I’m thinking of you today and hope this post will re-engage you. It won’t necessarily be sunshine and roses, but it certainly won’t be dark.
I’ve been asked why I chose the name Sapphire Dragonflies for my blog. I’m going to do the best I can to explain that to you today.
I’ll start with the sapphire part since it’s easy.
I’ve always loved sapphires. The special meaning, however, came when my husband presented me with my engagement ring. Knowing that I wouldn’t want the traditional diamond that everyone else had, he chose one with a sapphire. He said that it matched the blue of my eyes. He said we aren’t traditional and the ring shouldn’t be either.
Every day I look at that ring and I still love it just as much as I did the day he put it on my finger. It reminds me that he loves me enough to want to set me apart from every other woman out there -- that he thought I should have a ring that was as unique as he views me to be and that he values me enough to put that much thought into something as simple as a ring.

Dragonflies are a little more complicated. I’ve always been fascinated by them. It wasn’t until later in my life that they would take on more special meaning.
For those of you who don’t know, my mother has carved a career for herself out of ministering and providing services to bereaved women who have suffered a pregnancy loss. There’s a story behind how the dragonfly came to represent the program that she created and implemented at the hospital where she works. It is a story that only she should tell, and perhaps she’ll write it for us soon so I can share it with you.   (waves at mom --  hint, hint)
The dragonfly spends the majority of its life immature, living in its nymph stage. It’s only for the purpose of breeding that it enters the mature adult state. In just the few short months that it lives as an adult it manages to do everything. In that, I find a bigger picture. I think it represents, in a way similar to butterflies, the knowledge of waiting until you’re ready to get out and experience life and then doing it with vivacity.
In that way, they represent to me freedom and the ability to live in the moment.
Additionally, there is a lot of myth and lore surrounding dragonflies. In some cultures they are believed to carry the souls of the dead to the afterlife. I often wondered at how it was that they came to be associated with such a thing. And then, there was an experience that concreted that belief in my heart…
In July of last year we lost a woman who I came to call my aunt. I’ve known her since I was 7 years old. Iva was my mother’s best friend and her daughter, Sara, was my best friend.  As a child Iva was my other mom. She paddled my butt, she hugged me, she chastised me and she praised me. She was so strong and she had brown eyes that sparkled like there were hundreds of tiny fairy lights in them when she smiled at me. Then she got sick…

taken just about 2 months before we lost her...

Iva was being hospiced at home, slipping away in the end stages of liver cancer. I sat cuddled with Sara on another bed in the room, sorting through pictures taken of Iva throughout her life. Then, her breathing changed and we knew the time was near for her to go.  The decision was made that everyone except her children was to leave the room.  This was their time; to spend the last few moments alone with their mother and say goodbye.
I sat outside, pulling a chair into a shady spot to avoid the unbearable heat of an Arkansas summer. I popped the top on my diet coke, lit a cigarette and prepared myself to wait.
There they were-- what seemed to be a hundred dragonflies, moving neither left nor right, as if suspended by string, hovering just outside her bedroom window. All of them, frozen in time like they were waiting for something. They waited and they waited…
I watched.
Eventually someone came outside and said it was done. I made my way back into the house and through the rooms to where the rest of the family was. It broke my heart to see Sara lying there with her momma and sobbing.
I found it difficult to stay in the room more than a few minutes. There were so many people at the house that day. The heat of summer, and bodies crammed into such a tight space, only seemed to increase the thickness of the suffocating grief that was surrounding us.
So, I made my way outside to watch the dragonflies. Those fascinating creatures who symbolized growth, rebirth and vitality to me…
Those fascinating creatures, who when I stepped off the porch to look for them, were gone. Not a single one in sight. They had carried her away and were no longer needed.
I spent the rest of the summer in awe of dragonflies. I chased them everywhere, camera in hand, hoping to find the perfect dragonfly shot but, they always managed to buzz away by the time I could get my camera ready.
Then, one day, this dragonfly seemed perfectly content to pose for a picture.  This sapphire dragonfly, edged in hues of green, lighted gently in front of where I sat as if to say, “Here I am.”

There's hope in dragonflies. All you have to do is look....


  1. Light or dark, in many ways our journeys cross paths. I am honored that you are a companion on my journey and that you have allowed me to be a part of yours.

  2. Dafeenah, your sentiment equals my own. I'm looking forward to seeing great things from you.