Someone has been leaving gifts at The Equine Connection. First a sturdy, blue bucket. Then a pair of stirrup leathers, artfully wrapped around an arena fence pole. Recently, a floating dragonfly light was left in the small pond that is home to the beautiful water lilies I love. This dragonfly looks like a plastic garden ornament during the day, nothing astonishing. However, once it becomes dark, it performs a light ceremony – changing colours slowly. Yellow, red, green, purple, pink, and my favourite, a deep blue. It is mesmerizing, and heartwarming. When I watch the colours change, I feel I am being visited by the faeries.
Dragonflies, like faeries, have been around for millions of years. They are ancient. They are a symbol of transformation. It seems fitting to me that the floating dragonfly comes alive at night – at a time when our vision is somewhat blurred. A time when it may be more possible to see the Otherworld, the realm of the faeries… While I stand and watch the dragonfly put on its colour show, I feel like I am being invited to acknowledge and interact with the spirit world, the unseen realm. Part of living a life filled with meaning, and connection is an honouring of the Otherworld.
“At that young age I became aware that things happened when the day darkened. The movement from fevered imaginings into a direct experience was real, very tangible. It didn’t feel like something was out there; there was something out there, and I got nailed by it. It is a strand of Western arrogance to believe that everything “unnatural” that occurs is somehow a psychological response to some shift in the human mind, as if that were the centre of all the action.” (Martin Shaw in Scatterlings, p. 202)
As long as we see animals and insects as irrelevant to our human lives, we will feel disconnected and have difficulty finding meaning in our daily lives. As long as we believe there is nothing more than what we can see, the more difficult it will be to be inspired. We need to believe in magic. Martin Shaw tells a story of a faeire reaching out to a human midwife.
“It is illuminating that the faerie requires a human midwife. We hear from many cultures that the Otherworld is as interested in us as we are in it, and we detect the scent of that here – that we have a skill that is of real use to them.” (p. 202)
This prospect is exciting to me! My life suddenly becomes bigger when I imagine I am connected to a whole other realm that is impacting my daily life and the health of the planet!
This is a hopeful perspective. In the book, Behaving as if the God in all Life Mattered, the author describes her own experiences of collaborating with nature spirits. Of course, such an interaction requires trust. Trust in the invisible. At the same time, as my dragonfly friend demonstrates, if we are paying attention, we will get glances of this Otherworld. These sightings often happen in our contact with our animal friends too, and with Mother Nature. Everyone who has had a substantial experience of equine-assisted learning knows this…
I may never learn how the dragonfly landed in our pond. However, I am grateful she did! Thank you for speaking to me in full colour! My trust has been fortified!
(Since writing this blog, I have met the faerie responsible for the gifts – thank you Babette! You are a beautiful faerie!)