I recently had the privilege of witnessing an awesome moment in Nature and, as Nature often does, it blew me away.
It wasn’t just the pure aesthetic beauty; it wasn’t just the drama of an epic struggle; and it wasn’t just the bitter-sweet sadness inherent in the spectacle that moved me to share it.
There was also a Divine reflection, a lesson you might say, on our ideas around success and failure in transformation, and it was that that had me heading for my keyboard to share it here with you…
Inspiration On The Garden Pond
It’s not something you see everyday, and especially when you happen to have your camera in your hand! This Emperor Dragonfly shows some seriously impressive perseverance to emerge from it’s larval moult. The larva spends a couple of years under water, feeding, shedding it’s skin and growing before it crawls up out of the water. Clinging to a reed, it dries and undergoes it’s emergence as a stunningly beautiful and devastatingly effective airborne hunter.
The emergence normally takes 1-3 hours, but I watched this mighty individual birthing itself, against the odds, over a 48hr period.
The Cripple And The Chrysalis*
So what could cause such a long emergence?
Well, unfortunately it’s wings were stuck and for a full day it hung from the husk of it’s exuvia (the hardened shellÂ of the larva). In that day the body and the exposed wings become engorged, and by nightfall it had fallen still. I was pretty sure it was dead but to my great surprise and delight, the next day I came out to find it had managed to grasp another reed and is pulling with all it’s might.
Amazingly I am there at the moment it pulls itself free. There’s an audible snap as the restraining fibril breaks and the heroic Hawker scurries to the top of the reed.
Up to this point, having never seen this process before, I expect to see the wings open and expand. However I quickly realise that they have set, are crippled and will never serve as mechanisms of flight.
Perhaps it’s my imagination, but I get the sense that it realises this too.
Nevertheless, it experienced several hours of life as a flightless Dragonfly. I like to think it surrendered, basked in the sunshine, took in the view and reflected on it’s time above the waterline. In any case, at some point it’s spirit left it’s body, which I found laying lifeless on a lilly pad later that evening.
TransformationalÂ Success & Failure?
In spite of it’s disability and short life this brave and determined individual was deeply admired and certainly left an impact.
Who is to say what is success and what is failure? You never know who or what you are inspiring in anything you do – regardless of the outcome.
A short while after, a healthy brother flew in, so you & I can see the wings he imagined, to share his vision and know that life as it was imagined exists somewhere.
If you have ideas of success and failure in the realm of your transformation, I invite you to let them go and be present to the beauty and inspiration of what is.
*OK insect nerds (I include myself here), I know that Dragonflies don’t do chrysalis and I’m hoping your natural appreciation for beauty will enable you to forgive the poetic licence 😉
“Who is to say what is success and what is failure?”Â via @JoelYoungNPA
“You never know who or what you are inspiring in anything you do – regardless of the outcome”Â via @JoelYoungNPA
“Know that life as youÂ imagine it exists somewhere”Â via @JoelYoungNPA
“IfÂ youÂ have ideas of success and failure in the realm of your transformation, let them go”Â via @JoelYoungNPA
“Let go and be present to the beauty and inspiration of what is” via @JoelYoungNPA
Good article Joel.
Great reflection Joel, thanks for sharing another inspiring tale. I have a soft spot for dragonflies anyway.
What a beautiful story Joel. What we are dreaming matters.And what is time? Maybe its quite an unique thing for every being – nonpersonal also?Love Reija
Aren’t they amazing Mark 😀
Thanks Reija – a unique thing for every being indeed – each being, each moment, a unique translation <3
Thanks Michael! 😀