Dragonfly by Gauri


by Gauri, September 2022

It is mid-week of the 2020 Summer Retreat, and I am sitting warming myself with my morning coffee.

My attention goes up to the sun streaming through the image of a dragonfly on the stain glass window above the door. It immediately brings the memory of paddling on the river this past summer with my son and grandson. I am transported there…

I can feel the heat of that afternoon sun reflecting off the water and a light breeze off the water, the cat’s tails, it all has a quiet, lazy effect on us. We stop paddling, to take in the magical feeling of it. Our paddles resting on the gunnel as the gentle flow of the river keeps the boat moving slowly. My gaze is on the water and the reflecting light. I notice a dragonfly struggling in the water, trying to free itself but its wings are fully submerged. I reach down and lift it up out of the water and place it at the bottom of my t-shirt. It grabs on, shakes its drenched wings. Shaking its head sideways it clings to my shirt and becomes quiet. In time, it stretches itself and then just sits. 

My son asks for us to start paddling again so I carefully pick up my paddle, and carefully pace the strokes in the waters so as not to disturb the dragonfly from my shirt as she dries. We make our way a little further down stream and into another channel to turn around. The sun is bearing down, and I feel its warmth. Conscious of the little being on my shirt, I glance down to see if it is still okay. It has moved up, seemingly to orient itself to the sun, but still clinging. I notice it is grooming itself, trying to correct the damage the water may have caused. It’s all very curious and wondrous to watch. I have stopped paddling.

Again, my son asks if I can pick up my paddle and help with moving us along. We move in and out of the winding rivers current and eddies. My grandson is delighted by the birds sitting on the cat’s tails and loves to drag his fingers through the water.

Moving along, the sun’s position changes with the turns of the river. I check in with my little passenger, and it has once more moved up adjusting to where the sun is best, and it now sits on my shoulder. We appear to be looking into each other’s eyes and then in the next moment it flies off, up and away, caught by the light breeze, over the cat’s tails and soon out of sight. Yay, I think to myself. 

Soon we are back on shore and continue with the day. 

It is a beautiful memory. 

As I sit now with my coffee, I think of how I love dragonflies, I have a few little trinkets hanging in windows or about the house and garden. But it now occurs to me that they have taken on a whole new meaning for me. 

In the Shakti of the retreat, I can see that I am just like that little drowning dragonfly. I think of how Guruji (Swami Shankarananda) has lifted me up and saved me from drowning and placed me firmly in a position to do what I need to do now for myself. So, I cling to his lotus feet, and I hold on for dear life as the reflection of his Sun light dries out my wings. I think of his words as being filled with his light. How his words and teachings lift me up. 

As further testament to this truth, a memory of being in the hall at Kailas Nivas, In Ganeshpuri, all alone, bowing to the murti of Bhagavan Nityananda, a dragon fly lites from his head and flies towards and all around me. The clear space of feeling inside, the movement of Shakti tells me, this is so. This is so. 

The retreat has been working wonders on my being. 

Sad Gurunath Maharaj Ki Ja.

Gauri, at devotee of Swami Shankarananda at The Ashram in Mount Eliza.

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