Why dragonflies?

The dragonfly, in almost every part of the world symbolizes change

… change in the perspective of self realization;

… the kind of change that has its source in mental and emotional maturity

and the understanding of the deeper meaning of life.” 


A few weeks before Bob and I flew here from New Zealand for our 4th of July wedding, I wandered through a Fair Trade store in Wellington. I was looking for some kind of small gift to give each of our 25 guests. I found just what I was looking for: lightweight, easy to ship between countries, and beautiful.

Those delicate, bamboo dragonflies went on to inspire, not only the theme for our day, but the repeat ceremony in New Zealand three months later, the symbol for this blog, and many of the gifts I’ve been given since.

Unbeknownst to me then, dragonflies have fascinating physical qualities and are highly symbolic in eastern and Native American cultures.

They’ve been around for almost 300 million years, can fly up to 45 miles an hour, and their eyes have about 30,000 lenses. Though many (human) parents pretend to have eyes in the back of their heads, with 360 degree vision, dragonflies actually can see all the way around themselves. (Wouldn’t that be handy? And disconcerting?)

The iridescence of their wings and bodies gives them the ability to show themselves in different colors depending on the light falling on them.  This quality is seen as being related to self-discovery and the removal of inhibitions:

“… the end of one’s self-created illusions and a clear vision into the realities of life … the discovery of one’s own abilities by unmasking the real self and removing the doubts one casts on his/her own sense of identity …”

It’s said ‘The Spirit of the Dragonfly’ can teach us to combine emotion with rational thought …

…Often one has to peer beneath the emotional waters, into the murky depths, to understand the causes and what is really happening inside oneself.”

“We must leave behind our old beliefs of powerlessness, irrational fears, and false limitations, you have the choice of your beliefs and your focus for the future.”

The dragonfly is also said to exemplify “the virtue of living IN the moment and living life to the fullest…

By living in the moment you are aware of who you are, where you are, what you are doing, what you want, what you don’t and make informed choices on a moment-to-moment basis.

This ability lets you live your life without regrets … “

If I’d consciously been searching, I don’t think I could possibly have found a better symbol for our wedding or for a blog featuring stories of overcoming and growing—our own transformations.