The most terrifying insect for me growing up was not the wasp or bumble bee, although I ran away from them in fear along with my squealing friends. Rather, the insect that sent me into a panic was the dragonfly. It is odd because today I appreciate the dragonfly. I show no fear if one zooms by my head.I can barely recall why I was so afraid.
Childhood fears sometimes diminish as we age. Our experiences and knowledge reshape our perception of the world. However, new fears can sometimes grow as we age. For instance, as a mom I have more fears for my children as I realize how little control I have.
Adult fears are not as easy to discuss. As we get older, it seems we should be more certain of things such as heaven or what lies after death. Yet, it is natural for our life experiences and knowledge to increase our questioning about what lies after death.
This poem, author unknown, describes our human limit in understanding the "other side" that lies after death. Looking at the lifecycle of a dragonfly, who changes from an underwater beetle to an airborne acrobat, we can begin to have comfort that there are somethings that we simply cannot know this side of heaven.
Once, in a little pond, in the muddy water under the lily pads,
there lived a little water beetle in a community of water
beetles. They lived a simple and comfortable life in the pond
with few disturbances and interruptions.
Once in a while, sadness would come to the community when one of
their fellow beetles would climb the stem of a lily pad and
would never be seen again. They knew when this happened; their
friend was dead, gone forever.
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
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!