Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Dragonflies and Totems

I believe everyone has a totem of sorts, a particular creature they relate to well or that keeps popping up throughout their lives as a source of inspiration and courage. Some people have more than one, but so far everyone I've come across has at least one. My husband's main totem is a bear, while my main totem is fey (faeries and the like - explaining fey will be a post for another day). Tree Faerie's totem is obviously a dragonfly.

Since the moment of conception, I have focused on dragonflies for Tree Faerie. The online baby journal I started during my pregnancy was done in purple and green dragonflies. The decorations for her nursery are centered around dragonflies. Every time I saw a dragonfly, I thought of my baby.

The moment Tree Faerie was born, a purple and green dragonfly landed on Panda's (a close friend) shoulder across town. While Memphis is in the south, winter is still cold and does not bear dragonflies, so a dragonfly on January 6th is a bit odd. We spent 2 nights in the hospital after birth in a lovely private room. This print was on the wall (that's Mr. Chomps in the photo):


It wasn't until we were packing up that we noticed that the picture contained more than just the pretty tulips. In the upper right corner was our little friend:

See what I mean? They're everywhere! Since her birth, I've had dragonflies fly alongside the car all the way from the grocery store to the house, which is about 2 miles. We've had entire swarms hover over us. We've had dragonflies land on us at various times. While I've always liked dragonflies and taken notice of them, I have never had this much direct contact with them!

My next tattoo (I currently have 2) will be a dragonfly on my left shoulder. I haven't settled on a design yet, but as soon as I have the perfect design, under the needle I will go! That dragonfly will be my tribute to my Tree Faerie. The symbol of a dragonfly different meanings according to different cultures, including luck, freedom, and change. Tree Faerie is all of these things to me.

I leave you with a bit of old-world lore. What creature are you most drawn to and what does it mean to you?

The Dragonfly

Once, in a little pond in the muddy water under the lily pads, there lived a little water beetle in a community of water beetles. They lived a simple and comfortable life in the pond with few disturbances and interruptions. Once in a while, sadness would come to the community when one of their fellow beetles would climb the stem of a lily pad and would never be seen again. They knew when this happened that their friend was dead - gone forever.

One day, one little water beetle felt an irresistible urge to climb up that stem. However he was determined that he would not leave forever. He would come back and tell his friends what he had found at the top.

When he reached the top and climbed out of the water onto the surface of the lily pad, he was so tired and the sun felt so warm that he decided he must take a nap. As he slept his body changed, and when he woke up he had turned into a beautiful blue tailed dragonfly with broad wings and a slender body designed for flying. So, fly he did! And as he soared, he saw the beauty of a whole new world and a far superior way of life to what he had never known existed.

Then he remembered his beetle friends and how they were thinking by now he was dead. He wanted to go back to tell them and explain to them that he was now more alive than he had ever been before. His life had been fulfilled rather than ended!

But his new body would not go down into the water. He could not get back to tell his friends the good news. He then understood that the time would come when they, too, would know what he now knew. So, he raised his wings and flew off into his joyous new life!

10 comments:

Annikke said...

This is really cool. I do not think I have a "totem".... seeeee I told you I was boring!

Heather said...

Hm. I'm not sure what my totem would be. The twins definitely have lion totems while my littlest would be a dragon (a creature that doesn't exist, of course). I'll have to give that some thought. Maybe the turtle? Since joining my sorority (the turtle is our mascot), I find them everywhere. I have a print of a turtle with the saying, "Behold the turtle... he makes progress only when he sticks his neck out."

Yeah, I could live with that!

Kelly Mahoney said...

Cute theme!

KATE said...

Wow, that is really cool about Tree Faerie & the Dragon Flies. Such a neat story!
I don't know what my totem would be. I love Turtles & always have. When I was snorkeling in Hawaii 18 months ago I saw a huge beautiful sea turtle it was so cool!

Andrea said...

Bah! Who says dragons don't exhist? :) The exhist strongly enough in our imaginations and in myths and legends that we can give them traits, like we do the fey (faeries), so that's good enough!

Gabriella said...

Interesting post...mine is a white wolf...i have many dreams with them but they are never mean always peaceful towards me.

Devin said...

That is so cool! I soooooo need a totem.

Cecily R said...

I love dragon flies!!! I don't think I have a totem, but I do feel oddly drawn to the platypus...

Heather said...

How wonderful! I'll have to pay closer attention to figure out my totem.

carrie & troy keiser said...

enjoyed this post and its meaning. love the dragonfly story. Never thought much about totems.....