The Dragonfly

I get a few questions about the dragonfly image for Brief Narrative Practices so I thought I’d share it’s significance. As a child my family would take a week’s vacation up north each summer. It seemed no matter how finances were, my parents would find a way to make that happen. We spent many years on lake Cecebe, out near Magnetawan, Ontario, Canada. It was a beautiful lake with reed lined channels where we would spend hours fishing. The dragonflies were absolutely entertaining. These are some of the earliest memories of my encounters with them. I found them amazing, agile, fierce, and somewhat majestic as they hovered, dove, and perched in a blink. We later started staying in Bala, ON and to this day it remains a haven for dragonflies. 

Ben and Grace have been introduced to them as well and they remain a sign of a change of pace for us, a time of escape, relaxation, and being with family. They also signal a deeper time of connection with nature, when we can pause to pay attention and aquiant with the detail and connection of it all. 

Of course, as I grew I learned more about these creatures, that they have meaning for many diffiernt cultures and populations. I remember seeing their left behind -I call them shells- on the docks and structures near the water. They had gone through a lifecycle, shed their past forms and transformed into these  beautiful flying insects. They are a reminder of growth, life as cyclical, and change as constant. They are a symbol of journey and movement in life.  

At times you can hear the snap of their jaw as they snatch one of those dreaded Canadian black flies -don’t get me started about the black flies during my tree planting years. In that role they are an allie, part of the ecology and aiding along the way. 

For these reasons they seemed like a fitting metaphor for my brief narrative practice as it relates to transition, change as movement, and the ecology we are all situated within. 

© Scot J. Cooper Inc. 2023