As summer approaches it occurred to me that it would be timely to speak of our connection with our smaller brethren that we share this world with—kin that our society has great difficulty in thinking positively about, namely, insects, spiders, and all the other creepy crawlies.
We always seem to be at war with them. As children we are taught to fear and despise them. According to our society they don’t have thoughts or feel pain—they are completely alien in nature to us. Yet, they dominate the earth, and many have existed on this planet for far longer than any other living beings besides ocean inhabitants and plants.
Such are the dragonflies—pure miracles of nature. Excellent predators to whom we owe a great debt for keeping the insect population in balance, they are capable of adjusting the angle of their wings so that they can reverse direction in mid-flight. Further, they possess incredible vision, being the hawks of the insect world, and are the only insect that actually has the same kind of teeth as mammals. In addition they are intelligent.
Ever thought of trying to communicate with insects instead of squashing them? Before I was introduced to energy healing and animal communication I had an astounding experience with a dragonfly that I will treasure forever. I had gone with my then-boyfriend to an apple orchard, and we were in the store. Some of you may be familiar with Brookfield Orchards in Massachusetts; in the back of the store there is a long room filled with products and with old stuffed animals on display. This room is all glass panes, none of which open, and the largest black dragonfly I have ever seen (his wingspan was easily 8 inches) was dashing himself against one of them in an effort to get back outside. My heart went out to him—if he could not get out he would starve to death. Problem was, how to help him? From my childhood experiences I knew that I had no chance of catching him; dragonflies are remarkably fast and can easily see you coming.
So I talked with my friend and we decided to put a hand up to see if the dragonfly would land on it and maybe we could carry him outside. My friend went first and began waving his arm around in the air, which the dragonfly apparently interpreted as a hostile gesture, as he began to divebomb him. So I went next and raised my hand palm up and held it still and thought at the dragonfly, “I want to help you. If you will light on my hand I will take you safely outside where there is food to eat. If you stay here you will die.”
To my amazement the dragonfly landed on the palm of my hand and stayed there. I slowly lowered my hand to waist level, and walking as though I carried the most precious baby in the world, I headed toward the exit. To get there I had to travel at least 50 yards negotiating through crowds of people, none of whom noticed this giant dragonfly on my hand.
Once outside I sat down on a piling with my hand with the dragonfly still on it in my lap, and there we stayed for 10 minutes, communing with each other. I had every opportunity to admire the perfection and beauty of his form. I cannot express fully the awe I felt that so delicate a being had entrusted his life to me, a species that most likely had no previous experience at trusting a human. It was such a gift, and it is one that I will always carry in my heart.
This experience had a major impact on how I viewed my interactions with all other living beings from then on. Who couldn’t we communicate with, and weren’t we obligated, when possible, to allow them to make their own choices?
To me this means I do not kill any living being, other than for food, if I have choice. When I come across an animal in need I always ask them if they wish to come home with me. The responses have been amazing, those that do not want help turn away, the majority of domestic animals will often rush into my arms (particularly astounding when the animal is feral). If I encounter a yellow jacket or bee at the window I will make the same statement as to the dragonfly and they will crawl onto my hand and stay until I take them outside. Even flies. If a being is causing you no harm try to view them with compassion and you may be surprised at the gifts and insight you receive.
Reprinted with permission from Tails of a Healer: Animals, Reiki and Shamanism by Rose De Dan, 2008, AuthorHouse. ©2008 Rose De Dan.