Elusive as a Dragonfly Wing

Desire guided my morning decision to retrace a trail walk from three days past. Logic told me that it was a fool’s errand to attempt to recreate an experience, when conditions had drastically changed. Logic was right, I was foolish to ask for a repeat performance from Mother Nature. What logic did not consider, is that a myriad of fresh wonders were waiting to tickle my fancy.

It’s hot, so very hot for a mid-September Friday. The thermometer read eighty-four degrees Fahrenheit at eight o’clock this morning. A cloudless sky gave the sun’s rays free will to bake the earth and every plant, structure or creature underneath her vastness.

This morning I carried my phone, hoping to catch dewy grass seed heads, sparkling dandelion fluff and a swan (or five) in the lens of my mini camera. Such photos were not available for capture today, but I did find a few other delights that I hope will call to your heart, mind and imagination.

Nature is the ultimate muse, for she is us and we are she. Together we’re unstoppable.

I’m finding much to consider in life’s contradictions these days. Every time I head out to walk I have a small inner dialogue.

Will you carry your phone today? Hmmm, should I? There might be photos to pair with the endless stream of stories flowing through me — I mean, you — oh! us. But, what if you get a call — or worse, read while you’re walking? Think of all you’ll miss. True — that. Hmmm, what to do?

There is no right or wrong answer to my incessant internal debate. Often in times of indecision, it’s best to go with your gut. Today my gut said, “Look, you missed a bunch of stuff last time. Take the camera!” I’m glad I listened.

With camera at the ready, my focus on detail was sharpened. I did not query apps, talk or read. I investigated, observed and documented. Take a look at the bounty of what Mara and I saw:

After I decided there was no way I’d be able to get close enough for a decent swan photo, Mara and I followed a path that eventually turns into a wooded oasis of shade. Within the remaining stretch of dike, I caught sight of a mushroom, it’s translucence illuminated by the sun.

When I bent down for a closer look, I noticed a paper thin, see-through wing nearby. Was it was once attached to the body of a dragonfly? I’d seen a number of dragonflies zooming here and there, but they all seemed to have their propellers intact.

The complexities of the brain and it’s ability to sort and discern amaze me, and although I color almost everything I think with an healthy shade of doubt, I’ll say here with some certainty — this wing came from a dragonfly. What happened to the rest of the fellow, I’m not meant to know.

At any rate, while my head was down, Mara felt that she, too, must see what I was looking at. Not only did she step on and crush the mushroom, she also stepped on the intricate, reflective appendage. After shooing her away, I gently moved grasses aside, searching. I searched ever so carefully and found the wing, undamaged. Can you believe, in my attempts to stage just the right photograph, I lost the wing no less than three more times? Eventually I decided the images I had, would have to do.

I placed the wing into my right palm, gently encasing it with my own appendages. I desired to keep that wee bit of misplaced nature to remind myself that it is the tiniest of details that join to make us whole. Where I would keep it, I did not yet know.

After lifting Mara onto the back seat, I placed my treasure atop the console between the bucket seats. I got in, buckled up and said aloud, “Mara, if we don’t get some air in here quick, we’ll pass out.”

I fully opened all four windows and away we went, my mind churning ideas; my thoughts keeping time with the tires.

As we turned up our driveway, I looked down at the center console. You might have already surmised my carelessness. My treasure, my reminder, light as a feather, was gone.

I’ve not a regret, for I’ve come to understand that to have and to hold is not my mission.

To see, appreciate and tell — seems to me, a better fit.



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