The Dragonfly Story
Then, one day, one little water beetle felt an irresistible urge to climb up that stem. However, he was determined that he would not leave forever. He would come back and tell his friends what he had found at the top.
When he reached the top and climbed out of the water onto the surface of the lily pad, he was so tired, and the sun felt so warm, that he decided he must take a nap. As he slept, his body changed and when he woke up, he had turned into a beautiful blue-tailed dragonfly with broad wings and a slender body designed for flying.
So, fly he did! And, as he soared he saw the beauty of a whole new world and a far superior way of life to what he had never known existed.
Then he remembered his beetle friends and how they were thinking by now he was dead. He wanted to go back to tell them, and explain to them that he was now more alive than he had ever been before. His life had been fulfilled rather than ended.
But, his new body would not go down into the water. He could not get back to tell his friends the good news. Then he understood that their time would come, when they, too, would know what he now knew.
So, he raised his wings and flew off into his joyous new life !
but to us that matters no more than the types of clothes we wear. The soles of our shoes have walked the same ground, so we always play together as one.
I hurry to catch up with my cousins and we set off, a little wagon rumbling behind us. Driftwood, bark, pine cones, wood chips, even a long, slender black leg from a piano with missing keys. We bring it all back to Uncle Brendan, and we watch him whittle away on the sticks as we savor the captivating sunset. Any northern sunset can be beautiful, but a North Carolina sunset is really something special. The fading sunlight leaks through the trees like water through a strainer.
Uncle Brendan adds the shavings to the mountain of wood, which erupts into flames. We gather in a circle around the fire, shoulder to shoulder, sitting on logs, chuckling with each other in the firelight. There are grandparents, parents, aunts and uncles, brothers and sisters, cousins and more cousins.
Everybody. Sparks dance in the air, like little lanterns held by invisible hands as we begin toasting the marshmallows and popcorn. The smoke rising up through the curls of flame gives off a wondrous scent. It smells of Uncle Brendan’s pine trees and Aunt Kathy’s cookies. It smells of sticky hands and old rundown barns. It smells of almost-burnt marshmallows and popcorn. It smells of home. Home sweet home.