In my last post for my brother’s birthday I mentioned that dragonflies are very special to me ever since he is gone. Now the anniversary of his death is approaching – I will not have the time or energy on the very day to publish anything here, so I decided I’ll do it today.
On the day of my brother’s funeral, a huge dragonfly kept circling above and around the fresh grave. When I came back hours after the funeral, he was still there. A few days later, someone gave us the “Story of the dragonflies” as a present and a bit later we also got a dragonfly figure to put on the grave. The story is very special to me. Unfortunately I never found out who the author is, so I just translated it without being able to give credit. And here it goes:
The story of the dragonflies
On the bottom of a quiet little pond there was a community of water beetles. They were a happy little bunch, living there in the half-light and being busy running across the mud on the bottom of the pond and looking for food.Every now and then though, the water beetles noticed that one of them seemed to lose interest in staying there. He would cling to the stem of a lily pad and slowly climb aloft until he disappeared. He would never be seen again.
One day, when it happened again, the water beetles said to each other: “Another one of our friends is climbing the stem. Where is he going?” But even though they watched closely, this friend also disappeared from their sight. The ones left waited for a long time, but he did not come back. “Isn’t this strange?” said the first water beetle. “Was he not happy here with us?” asked another. “Where might he be now?” wondered a third. No-one knew the answer. They were mystified. Finally, the eldest beetle called a meeting. “I’ve got an idea” he said. “ We will all promise that next time one of us climbs up the stem of that lily pad, he will come back and tell us where he has gone and why.” “We promise” they all said solemnly.
Not long afterwards, on a spring day, the very water beetle who had made the proposal noticed that he was climbing up the stem of the lily pad. He climbed higher and higher. And before he knew what was happening, he broke through the water surface and fell onto a big, green leaf of a lily pad. When he came to, he looked around astonished. He could not believe his eyes! Everything was different and even his body seemed to have changed in a strange way! When he started to examine himself curiously, he saw four sparkling wings and a long abdomen that obviously belonged to him now. While he was still wondering about his unusual shape, he felt the urge to move his wings. He gave in to the urge, moved his wings and suddenly, without knowing how, he was in the air.
The water beetle had become a dragonfly! Up and down, in narrow and big circles, the new-born dragonfly moved through the air. He felt fantastic in this completely different element. After a while, he settled down on a leaf to take a break. Right then, the dragonfly looked at the water. And down there were his old friends, the other water beetles who were running across the bottom of the pond! Now the dragonfly remembered his promise.
Without thinking twice, the dragonfly raced downwards to get to his friends and tell them everything. But he bounced off the water surface.
“I cannot go back” he said sadly. “I tried but I cannot keep my promise. And even if I could go back, none of my friends would recognise me with my new body”. After careful consideration he realised: “I have to wait until they have also turned into dragonflies. Then they’ll know what happened to me and where I’ve gone.”
And then the dragonfly flew aloft, into his amazing new world of light and air.
I think the story is beautiful and it always reminds me that changing the form does not mean everything is gone. And this is also why I never wonder where my brother is now – I will find out when I climb up the stem. Until then and always, he is in my heart!
Yours truly, madly, deeply!
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