Monday, June 30, 2008

Who Am I?

Widow Skimmer (Female)
(Libellula luctuosa)

I've been looking out for these splendid creatures for weeks now and was delighted to discover squadrons of them circling in the air over the Two Hundred Acre Wood yesterday.

The iridescent wings and golden striped bodies of the females were beautifully highlighted against the wild field grasses, the blue-green foliage and purple flowers of blooming common vetch.

No matter what is going on in life at any given time, such summer colors and shapes engage my attention, and they hold it gently. They are a potent reminder that what dwells out there in the natural world is small and vibrant and possessed of infinite grace, and that out there too dwells the vast, the breathing and the magical, or in the words of Joanna Macy:

"When you go through the dark night of the soul, you let go of all the old securities that structured your faith or gave shape to hope. You surrender to the assumption that what brought us into being is far bigger than we can ever comprehend."

Joanna's words are particularly appropriate right now since I seem to be wrestling with a whole thorny set of issues: issues about humanity, humanity's treatment of this blue world and our rightful place in it, issues about this old hen, about her age and her worth and where she really belongs in the great scheme of things. They are questions which have to be asked from time to time - sometimes the answers are troubling and sometimes they are downright wondrous.

4 comments:

nanakin1 said...

Your blog is one of the first I read each day. I am in awe of your incredible photographs and the thought-provoking words that accompany them. Thank you for sharing them .
Nancy

Ernestine said...

Joanna's thought provoking words and the issues you are wrestling with "are ever on my mind"
They have brought tears to my eyes this morning.

Aisling said...

Cate, I included a photo of a Whitetail Dragonfly in my Sunday post, but your Widow Skimmer puts my photo to shame. What a lovely jewel of an insect you have shown us! I have many species of both dragonflies and damselflies skittering around my meadows and marshes right now, but I find they are not particularly cooperative in holding still for a photo.

hele said...

I have to agree wholeheartedly with nankin.

Reading here about the things I struggle to even put words to and seeing the beautiful picture that accompany your words open little cracks in my soul through which light pores, turning dust into golden dancers.