When I showed up at Providence Middle School after accepting a role as a production assistant for another very special THD Story, I expected the theme to be dragonflies. But what I expected to be movement that looked like dragonflies or formations that symbolized dragonflies turned out to be an incredibly heart opening experience.
As is custom when the company enters a school to set a THD Story, Lexie shared some interesting facts about these insects and explored some thematic journal prompts with the young dancers. She explained that their eggs are laid on the surface of water or mud, that they spend multiple years underwater as nymphs, until finally they shed one last layer before emerging from the surface of the water.
The two facts that struck me as most fascinating, though, are that these creatures use an entire 80% of their energy, their brain power, on their 360o vision and that they can only live up to 3 months old! Can you imagine? How different would we see the world if we could see the entire picture? How different would we treat the world and each other if we knew we didn’t have much time?
Lexie also shared this poem by Walter Dudley Cavert:
“In the bottom of an old pond lived some grubs who could not understand why none of their group ever came back after crawling up the lily stems to the top of the water. They promised each other that the next one who was called to make the upward climb would return and tell what happened to him. Soon one of them felt an urgent impulse to seek the surface; he rested himself on the top of the lily pad and went through a glorious transformation which made him a dragonfly with beautiful wings. In vain he tried to keep his promise. Flying back and forth over the pond, he peered down at his friends below. The he realized that even if they could see him, they would not recognize such a radiant creature as one of their number.
The fact that we cannot see our friends or communicate with them after the transformation which we call death is no proof that they cease to exist.”
I think Cavert’s suggestion applies in so many other circumstances too. We all go through life-changing experiences. Some might be slight, while others feel monumental. Wouldn’t we all love to see and understand God’s vision for why we’re going through something while we’re going through it? It’s usually in hindsight that we understand the blessing in the curse – or something like that.
While you’re exploring the journal prompts for yourself, also consider this: Have you ever left your (old) self behind because of personal growth? Have you ever shed a layer of your own skin for a new phase of life? I know I have. And just like in Cavert’s short tale, we can share our experiences with others, but they’ll never experience the radiance in the same way we have.
I see dragonflies everywhere now. I especially notice them balancing on the surface of the water while I’m kayaking. I think, “Wow. How beautiful this must be for them.” It’s beautiful for me too, though. I’m seeing exactly what I’m meant to in the time that I’m given.
Watch "DragonFly Vision"
Listen to the story video for "DragonFly Video"
Connect more deeply to this project by using the journal prompts below.