Today I Saved a Dragonfly

She was on her back, wings rigid against the cement step, one leg twitching feebly in the air. I didn’t know if she was in her final moments. I didn’t know if I wanted to know.

She was bigger than I thought she should be, this dragonfly (who could well have been a he), still faintly iridescent within the shadow of the building looming far above her, the building she had probably crashed into before we arrived on the scene.

I wasn’t sure what to do, but I wanted to do something. Would moving her cause unfortunate agitation or even damage? Was I just being a bumbling human, thinking I could save the world when sometimes you just have to sit back and let things be?

I decided to do nothingthen. My friend and I had an actual purpose for being at this building; there’s an awesome basement restaurant and it was lunchtime. I thought, if the dragonfly was still there by the time we picked up lunch and came back out of the building, then I’d do something.

She was.

The leg that had been twitching was now still. She seemed too still. I dithered and hesitated and boggled. My friend informed the dragonfly that she should move. She didn’t take him up on his suggestion. What to do? Should I let nature be nature?

I didn’t. I borrowed a wide, many-pointed green leaf from a low-growing plant and slowly lowered it over the dragonfly. I had a vague idea of scooping her into the nearby flower bed so she’d be out of the way of foot traffic, but looking back, I was going about it entirely the wrong way.

Yet I was going about it exactly the right way, for as soon as the leaf touched her, she gripped it. All her legs curled around the leaf, clinging with surprising strength. Equally surprised, I lifted the leaf, and she came right with it.

As soon as we cleared enough air space, she took off with a relieved whirr of her wings, a sparkling, darting flight soon lost in the sun-drenched noon, but kept in my memory. I was buoyant too, having just helped a fellow creature get back on its path.

Grounded, Safe, In Touch, and Apart: A Rejuvenating Experience

I think I had a rejuvenating experience yesterday.

This infographic has been floating around Facebook (also found here), and I completely agree with its tenet that there’s a link between human health and the great outdoors. Personally, I get a bit twitchy when I haven’t been around trees for awhile.

All day I was stuck inside, battling an incessant bout of the sneezes and working from home at the same time. I suppose I could have put my head and the rest of myself outside for a few minutes, but this particular outside is very unprepossessing: A few straggling county- or condo-owned trees, a Park’n’Ride lot, a busy street, and foot traffic from other members of our condo community.

It’ll come as no surprise that I wish to be out of this condo community some day soon. About the only joy I get from our outdoors here is the lilac tree that we don’t even own, and the warbling finches that come to the bird bath we do own.

I saw that infographic above and posted it to my own Facebook wall. When my husband came home from his job, he had one thought in his head: Whisk me off to the woods.

I was still sneezing, irritated, and disinclined to move, but I went anyway.

It was perfect.

I got my trees, but also something I didn’t even know I needed: The intoxicating abandon of the wind.

The park we went to has it all–forest, picnic grounds, golf course, trails, and the lake. One way to see the lake is from above, cliffside, gazing out to the horizon. I found such a cliffside, with the wind tearing my hair to pieces before I even got close, and the waves roaring up at me from so far down below.

All around me was erosion, yes, and trees canting crazily off the crumbled sides, and a rickety wood-and-wire barrier to keep fools out–yet I knew I had to get closer, knew I had to sink to the ground and just sit there in the grass and let the wind sweep over me.

And I did. I felt perfectly safe, grounded, in touch with the earth, the sky, and the lake–in touch and a part of them, yet apart as well. Whether I was there or not, the wind would keep blustering and the trees would keep on growing. The very unexpectedness of this rather desolate place served as an anodyne to my particular ague, and there was something about the disinterest of the elements that put me back into my own perspective. I was able to come back home refreshed, awake, and alive again. Priceless.

The forest

The cliff, and it was far more windy than this shot shows

Feeling great!

What ‘s your go-to for recharging? Has anything unexpected ever helped you?