Thursday, June 13, 2013


I'm fascinated with dragonflies. They're whimsical little creatures that make a body of water sparkle and look beautiful. In Dragonfly Moments, the dragonfly features a few times and holds a special symbolism for my heroine, Tessa. Now, of course I can't tell you what. You need to read the book to find out.

Dragonflies come from the order Odonata which is a Greek word for "tooth." It was thought they had teeth but instead they have super-strong mandibles to crush their prey. The creature has 5,000 species (including the damselfly.) They are brilliant flyers and engineers have studied their flight pattern to design a flying robot. If they couldn't fly, they wouldn't eat because they eat in flight. Mozzies are their favourite meal. I think I'd like to hire a bunch of them for summer nights. They are also master migrators and one species can migrate about 11,000 miles across the Indian Ocean. And contrary to popular opinion, they live for more than one day. They can possibly live to a whole year, but normally a few weeks.

I've been considering getting a tattoo. I'm actually a very conservative person and for many years used to dress like an Amish, covering my skin ridiculously. I loosened up over the years, thankfully. But a tattoo? Since I've hit forty, I wanted to do something daring and outrageous. Unfortunately, I haven't taken the plunge, purely because I'm petrified that years later I won't like the picture I chose. I wonder if I'll ever do it. There was a point when I searched for pictures for a tattoo to put on my ankle. The dragonfly appealed to me. Partly because of my book and also because it looks cute. When I searched for pics of dragonflies, I stumbled upon some fascinating symbolism of the little creature. The symbolism is almost endless, but here are few lovely thoughts:

  1. In Japan, the dragonfly symbolises power and victory. The Samurai warriors use the symbol to represent strength. The strength of its wings to keep it in the air is powerful for such a small creature.
  2. In Native America, it symbolises freedom, happiness and purity because it dwells happily on land and water. Freedom because it breaks free from its larva stage after most of its life and then is able to fly all over.
  3. The Chinese see the dragonfly as a symbol of prosperity, good luck and harmony.
  4. In modern times, its seen as a symbol of living life to the full as the dragonfly only has a small portion of its life after it breaks free to fly and catch prey. It also speaks of the subconscious, like the reflection on water, the depth of the water speaking of going deeper and using your subconscious to learn more. (Wow, quite deep and mysterious.)
According to some legends, dragonflies were believed to possess supernatural power and be spiritual messengers. They were bearers of light, and in Ireland, they were considered the horses that fairies rode. Mmmh, now that sounds like an interesting thought for a fantasy story. The Lakota tribe in Japan used to invoke them to help defeat their enemies as they represented the spirit of illusion.

I think this all comes from the fact that the insect's wings refract light and many colours can be seen in them.

What feeling does the dragonfly invoke in you? Sometimes I think its sinister, other times beautiful and graceful but always mysterious.

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