Running With The Dragonfly

[Author’s Note: This is a true story I wrote about eight years ago, when I could still jog. I just now dug it up again after all this time and thought I’d share it. I’d love to get it published accompanied by a photo or drawing of a dragonfly but I’m not an artist or photographer that’s been lucky enough to capture the right picture – anybody have ideas for me?]


I wonder why the “little” things in life aren’t bigger.  The little things, like the call of a bird that distracts us for an instant, the laughter of a child that gives us pause for just a moment, or the contrail of jet flying overhead that we notice briefly as we glance at the sky to locate the source of the sound – things we don’t normally grace with even a moment’s thought, let alone a second thought.  But aren’t many of these little things that we experience in our daily lives actually a more significant part of a grander scheme, a greater purpose, a deeper meaning, or a more poignant design?  Could the little things add up to something more than the sum of their parts, if only you would take the time to first notice and then consider them?  Perhaps “taking time to smell the roses” could do us good, even if we don’t understand how, or why.  A “little” thing happened to me recently that made me wonder.

In my attempt to get into better physical condition this summer, I’ve taken to jogging up the road and back.  One particular morning, I was headed back to the house with only a quarter of a mile to go, but doubtful if I could keep up the pace that far.  But then I spied a dragonfly resting on the edge of the pavement just ahead of me.  It was just one of those little things to which I only gave a moment’s notice and brief appreciation.  And in the space of two footfalls, I was about to “get on with my life.”  But the dragonfly suddenly lifted into the air and did a small spiraling dance in front of me.  Then it took off, darting to and fro, keeping just ahead of me.  I began to give it a second thought – I appreciated its form and ability and wondered at its behavior.  And, I forgot about being tired and out of breath – I kept running.

The dragonfly would zip off to either side of me from time to time, and then zoom ahead quite a distance only to end up hovering directly in front of me only a foot off the ground as if waiting for me to catch up.  Being the wonderer that I am, I was by then quite taken with the creature and it antics.  As I ran, I watched the dragonfly; nothing else seemed to matter, or exist.  I can recall only that my attention was merely a primitive fascination without conscious thought.

Then the dragonfly settled in for a regular pattern of flying in fits and starts off to my left and only a couple of feet ahead, keeping strict pace with me.  It, of course, zigged, zagged, and rose slightly to dodge the weeds on the side of the road.  But it stayed with me as if it wanted the company.  And I began to want its company.

The dragonfly flew with me, and I ran with the dragonfly – all the way to my driveway.  Then it flew straight up ten feet and hovered for an instant.  I stopped then and smiled.  And I thought about saying “Thank you!”  But then the dragonfly zipped off back up the road and off into the woods out of sight.

Perhaps I have made more out of this experience than it deserves.  And it was just a little thing after all.  But then maybe it was a sign of some kind.  Perhaps I should think about it more – or perhaps not.  But I got the feeling that I had at least stopped long enough to smell the roses.  And is that in itself such a “little” thing?  I wonder!

Copyright 2001 by Gary D Timothy


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About the Author ()

I'm an Eclectic - some would say Jack of all trades, master of none. I have so many different and varied interests that I've never been able to specialize.Although, perhaps, I'm best at understanding myself and empathizing with others - I might h

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