FMF prompt word: CELEBRATE. But no way can I stop at five minutes, and I think you’ll see why:
I see the word “celebrate” and think joy, rejoicing, and… dragonflies!
But then I wonder if I’ve got it right. Did I celebrate dragonflies? Can you do that?
So I pull the dictionary off the book rack and look up the word. This very secular and recently published dictionary surprises me, as I read:
CELEBRATE: vt 1: to perform (a sacred or solemn ceremony) publicly with appropriate rites 2a: to honor (as a holiday) esp. by solemn ceremonies or by refraining from ordinary business b: to mark (as an anniversary) with festivities or other deviation from routine 3: to hold up or play up for public notice(her poetry ~s the glory of nature) vi 1: to observe a holiday, perform a religious ceremony, or take part in a festival 2: to observe a notable occasion with festivities
So can you celebrate dragonflies? I think I’m going to right now…
The celebratory moment wasn’t planned. It was more like magical. But it was given space to happen, or it might never have occurred.
For one thing, I’d just begun a new practice, a few weeks before: gratitude with a new dimension: each evening naming “The Gift of the Day,” and noting it in my journal.
For decades I’d practiced (if somewhat inconsistently) the daily naming of five “gratitudes.” But this one had to arise from the listing as the “best and most beautiful.”
Reviewing later what gifts I’d singled out, I noticed nearly all were intangible, and happened—or rather, came to my awareness—when I’d made a pause.
Oh, yes, there were stand-out gifts amid activity—like my getting that basket onto the high kitchen shelf exactly as it should be settled, via that Frisbee-like fling after quick prayer. (If you knew my normally abysmal aim, which I blame on uneven eyesight, you’d call it a miracle like I did—especially since the feat repeated twice in my rapid cleanup effort!)
But mostly the day’s special gift was something like…
a clear sparkling bird song I’d never heard before, delivered to me as I sat quiet in my porch nook,
or a spectacular view of sky framed between trees, noticed as I paused from garden work, or… (you get the idea).
So it was with The Dragonfly Moment.
Late afternoon. Husband gone on an errand. Day’s work done, supper a cinch to fix later. And me seizing the moment! Out on the patio, under the sunbrella that shades the table. Silent solitude.
The only trouble was… insects. These little bee-like, fly-like things that harass by (literally) getting in your face, or on your arms or neck, along with the heat-summoned gnats and the end-of-summer mosquitoes. This time of year I miss the swallows that have suddenly flown back to Capistrano (or wherever they go) and left behind stark silence and increased biting insect population, which they’d kept controlled all summer.
So I expected bug troubling as soon as I settled in my seat. But, in no more than a minute, suddenly dipping and darting all about me like glistening, glittering little jewel-like helicopters, the dragonflies appeared! And the bugs, gnats and other stinging things? Very quickly gone!
Yet, far more than bug control, this was a shining, dancing spectacle fit to make you laugh, delighted, which I did!
Another dragonfly moment happened this week, while roof replacement work cluttered both patio and porch with debris and noise and I decided to “take tea with God”—out in the “mini-barn” where I’d stashed some of the patio furniture. Through half-opened door, their glinting, glistening sun reflections caught my eye as they danced mid-air, out all over the meadow grass, a marvel!
And now I sit and consider that such marvels are happening all the time, and the only requirement for realizing and celebrating them is a little momentary pause. (See definition 2a above).