Tea with Dragonflies

When we first moved out here three years ago, the land was completely overrun with trees and weeds whose heights could easily lead one to believe they too were trees. An unkempt pond in the front created a small swampy environment. Amphiumas inhabited the land where it was most moist. Three years of vacancy did not help the land flourish. It was very easy to just want to tear everything out. And, in some sad ways, that’s mostly what was done. Although most involved with the task were very excited about the end result, I had a very heavy heart whenever I witnessed a fleeing snake or a random fish pop up in the yard, trapped, as we destroyed its watery home. In the process of destruction to build new, I had personally rescued three fish and two Jerky McJerkface Creepy Snake Fish amphiumas. My husband and I worked together to move a huge softshell turtle. Later that year, we Taz–our Weimaraner–brought us a baby softshell turtle. He did not harm the baby, but probably rescued it from the huskies. That warmed all of our hearts.

As we cleared practically everything we clearly got a good look at two trees. One right out front of the house and the other near the front of our property. I had fallen in love with the tree by the house, and my husband was fond of the one near the front of the property. We’re unsure of what the trees actually are, but they were too gorgeous to get rid of.

The tree right outside the house provides plenty of shade. In seeking a moment to myself one afternoon, I decided to finish off a cup of hot tea I had steeped. I know it’s summer, but I do love my hot drinks. I held my knees to my chest as I leaned against the tree. A dragonfly landed on my bare foot. I continued my tea.

Photographed by Amanda Harman

Another one, green, landed to my left. Then another to my right. One bumped into my right ear. Another landed on a twig above me to enjoy a snack. I closed my eyes and listened to them. They don’t buzz like bees, though there were a few working in the shade as well. They didn’t mind my presence so I continued to share their space. Listening to them fly and land nearby was tranquil.

Photographed by Amanda Harman

I allowed myself a moment to feel young again; a little girl with butterfly wings, pretending these gentle beasts came to visit me from a faery realm. Smiling at them as they ate in close proximity of me. Blue, green, and yellow.

Photographed by Amanda Harman

I finished off my tea and returned to work. Later in the evening I visited my friends again with the camera. I couldn’t resist documenting–to an extent–our interaction. I took advantage of how undisturbed they were by my presence and thoroughly enjoyed our little photo shoot. At the end of the day, with the amount of work I got done, I was most proud of enjoying tea and socializing with the local neighbors in our tree.

Take time for yourself; even if it’s not everyday.

Take time to acknowledge and enjoy the peace around you presently; even if you had to cause destruction to get there.

And despite past destructions and chaos, never stop growing and helping the growth around you.

Photographed by Amanda Harman

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