Dew laden wings dry in the sun:
I leave the memory ~ A flash of gold:
Of astonishing beauty ~ Of Earth and Heaven:
Before I fly into the space ~ Of the ‘Light Bearer.’ ~Ally.
If you could untie your wings and free your soul of jealousy, you and everyone around you would fly up like a ‘Light Bearer.’ ~Adapted from Rumi.
The Home of the Golden Dragonfly.
I often walk barefoot over the local golf course early in the morning ~ Before the first players arrive. A majestic ‘manor estate’ of hills and valleys, on an ancient sandstone escarpment ~ All to myself.
At the highest level of the course is a huge ‘lake’ ~ A 25 million litre man-made dam that collects stormwater from the creek, running through the course on its way to Sydney Middle Harbour, as an alternative watering source for tees, greens and fairways.
The lake, surrounded by a host of indigenous reeds, bullrushes and grasses, is now home to native ducks and frogs ~ And a favourite mating ground for many varieties of dragonflies.
The first time I saw one of the ‘Golden Dragonflies.’
A glint of gold ~ Flashing from the reeds in the marsh-like surrounds of the lake, about 10 metres away. Keeping my eye fixed to where I’d seen the golden light, I slowly walked up to it ~ Along the pathway beside the reeds.
What I saw, an impression I’ll always remember ~ One of the largest and most beautifully winged dragonflies I’d ever seen. I didn’t have my camera with me ~ I just stayed motionless ~ Breathing in the beauty.
In the photograph above, I initially thought the lime green ball/sac was an imperfection in the image ~ However it became a fascinating feature, which to date no-one has been able to tell me what it is. Do you know?
Moments like this, I can feel your heart beating as clearly as I feel my own, and I know that separation is an illusion. My life extends far beyond the limitations of me. ~Cloud Atlas: Andy and Dana Wachowski.
Photographing the ‘Golden Dragonflies.’
From that Spring morning, I spent the next 4 months visiting the lake about 3 times a week for a few hours at, or as close to dawn as possible ~ Photographing the Golden Dragonflies.
As Spring turned to Summer, there were so many dragonflies around the lake, almost invisible amongst the grasses and reeds ~ And as I’d move through the reeds, they would fly out from no-where (not unlike the bats that fly over the lake at dusk.)
Most would fly completely away ~ But some would fly just a few meters away so that as I moved towards them, extra, extra stealthily ~ I could be that close to them, that my camera was literally only a few inches away from them.
The mud beneath my bare feet was black and squelchy ~ A perfect swamp for mosquitoes and spiders. If I’d allowed my thinking to have its way, it was also the perfect quagmire for more harmful creatures as well ~ Snakes and crocodiles.
Fortunately I had to be so mindful and present to my environment that the fantasised thought of snakes was replaced by the wish to capture the beauty I was in touch with.
Shamanic symbolism of Dragonfly.
There were actually three dragonflies close together when I took this photograph above, but then one flew away. I was told later that the number 2 relates to the Shamanic symbolism of Dragonfly ~ Providing just one more example to me that everything is as it needs to be?
Just as light can bend and shift and be adapted in a different ways, so can the archetypal forces associated with dragonfly. Dragonfly yields the message that life is never what it appears to be. ~Shamanic Journey by Ina Woolcott.
Understanding a little more about the shamanic symbolism of the dragonfly and tuning into the ‘Energy of dragonfly’ I sensed was allowing the dragonflies to assist me to photograph them ~ After all why wouldn’t they want their beauty to be shared with everyone?
In my future articles about the Golden Dragonflies, I’ll explain a little more about my understanding of the Shamanic symbolism of Dragonfly.
And you? When will you begin that long journey into yourself? ~Rumi.
My first digital camera: An inexpensive Traveler DC 140 ~ Without a zoom or macro lens and virtually no depth of field. And the only way to capture the Golden Dragonflies was to BE: BE with my breath, BE with the sensation of mud squelching through my toes, BE with the stillness and gentle breezes of dawn, BE with the morning light, BE with the chill and warmth in the air, BE with the sound of rippling water and the songs of birds.
Reading the postures of the ‘GoldenDragonfly.’
In the photograph above, I see the posture of ‘Humility.’ A quiet reflectiveness. Coming to see that although my existence may be a relatively short one ~ In whatever time I am granted on this Earth, it’s up to me to shine my Light and Beauty, in a way that only I can do.
The most amazing aspect of these images is that to take them, I had absolutely no choice but to be so up close ~ And to be so up close, I had to be so still when I moved towards them. And being so still allows us to take in so much more of the wonder of it ‘all.’
All photographs: ©Alison Lee Cousland.