Anyone who really knows me, knows I am afraid of insects. However, I am in love with dragonflies. They have such beautiful, delicate wings and they are so graceful in flight. I also love dragonflies because of the symbolism they hold for me. For me, dragonflies, much like butterflies, symbolize transformation and wisdom.

Why Are They Called Dragonflies?

Let’s begin with the basic question I asked myself while writing this post. Google has a lot of explanations, but most responses claim that there is fossil evidence dragonflies were large flying insects, in the shape of a dragon. I assume that at the time that these fossils were dug up, people believed in dragons.  Hundreds of years ago, unearthing a fossil that looks something like a dragon with a wingspan of nearly two and a half feet would probably lead you to believe you found a flying dragon.

Red Dragonfly

Seeing a Broader Perspective

Almost 80 % of a dragonfly’s brain power is dedicated to one thing – its sight. A dragonfly’s head is almost all eyes – two enormous, bulging eyes. And they are compound eyes. As human beings, we have just one lens in each eye. A dragonfly has many lenses in each eye – actually, some 20,000 – 30,000 lenses. A dragonfly sees through all these eyes at once, and as a result it can see all 360 degrees around it.

We humans walk around always seeing life from one lens – our own. Wouldn’t it be great to view life like a dragonfly with a broader perspective? I think if everyone viewed things with a larger or different perspective, many of the problems we have in the world today would disappear. Imagine viewing life from a polar bear’s point of view. Would you be more concerned about global warming? What if a big game hunter was put himself in the position of the lion, would he still feel that being shot at with an automatic weapon is a fair? What about a white person sitting in the shoes of a black person when they are pulled over by the police?  In all of these situations, I think people would make different decisions about what is right, fair or important.

The Lifespan Of A Dragonfly

The lifespan of a dragonfly is short. It is only one to two months. It leaves the underwater world it has called home for years to live a brief time as a beautiful flying being. The dragonfly reminds us to embrace change and live life to its fullest. Because its time on earth is so short, the dragonfly must use it wisely.  Like the dragonfly, we need to make the most of every single day that we have on this earth. Life is too short to waste time. Life is too short to hold grudges. Life is too short to spend it trying to be someone or something that we are not.

Think about the dragonfly on this Earth Day. Let’s take care of the earth. Our home. The dragonfly’s home. The world would not be as beautiful without them.


“Dragonflies are reminders that we are light

and we can reflect light in powerful ways if we choose to do so.”

6 thoughts on “Celebrating Earth Day with Dragonflies”

  1. Hi Michelle,
    Dragonflies – the Japanese Connection. I became interested in dragonflies because of my interest in Japanese art. Japan is also known as the Island of the Dragonfly. In Japan the dragonfly is known as the “victory insect”, or kachimushi, because of its hunting prowess and also because it is known to never retreat. Dragonflies are agile and fast fliers and can even hover, but never fly backwards. For that reason, they were a favorite motif of the samurai. But they also appear on scrolls and panels and lacquer ware. When I was in Japan, I purchased a lacquer suzuribako – a scholar’s writing box – with a beautiful tombo (dragonfly) motif. It’s life in the air is short, but it sees all that is around it and continues to fly forward with purpose. A good model for us as well! Cheers, Jonathan

    1. Jonathan, thank you so much for the information. Moving forward with a purpose… That is another thing I need to remember about dragonflies!

      1. Shafiqua Harris

        Hello Michelle, I love your site. Amazing photos and great learning. I’m just like you… afraid of insects too. Butterflies 🦋 are my favorite but I believe I’ve found a new love for dragonflies as well.
        Keep inspiring,

        1. CeeCee,
          Thank you for your kind words! I’m glad you liked this. It gives me inspiration to keep posting photos and writing!

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