symbolism mating dragonflies

Reflections After Mating Dragonflies Crashed Into My Face

It was a lazily romantic summer morning…slow and steamy. I sipped my oat milk latte, sitting angled toward Mr. H on the park bench in front of the cerulean lake. Time stood still as we gazed at each other while gentle waves lapped against the shore.

Suddenly a black mass came gliding toward me, zig-zagging through the sky at an incredible speed. It crashed into my face with a buzzing thud, hitting somewhere between my left ear and my cheek. Then, it was gone.

I clutched the side of my face, feeling violated but unsure by what. “What the hell just happened?”

The symphonic park sounds commenced, joined by a new sound from Mr. H…uncontrollable laughter. “Dragonflies. Fucking.”

We died laughing. It turned out that horny dragonflies were exactly what we needed.

The morning was supposed to be a lazily romantic morning—it was anything but.

Mr. H and I took our first vacation of the year, dipping a cautious toe in the COVID-era travel waters with a few nights in Door County, Wisconsin. We were eager to get away from it all and stay somewhere that had guaranteed shoddy WiFi so we could disconnect from the 2020 play-by-play happening everywhere we turned.

That morning, the lure of brunch in town was difficult to resist. We couldn’t remember the last time we had brunch at a restaurant. Well, everyone else had the same sentimental idea.

As we drove down the hill into town, we saw the frenzy unfolding before our eyes—bumper to bumper traffic on the single-lane streets and a huge crowd waiting for their tables.

We were here to get away from it all, along with everybody else. The entire town was popping off. Brunch was a no-go, so we stopped in a coffee shop to have our morning cup. Once caffeinated, we would figure out an alternative plan.

While waiting for our coffee, a masked woman screamed at another woman and her daughters. “6 feet, 6 feet!”

It was impossible to be socially distanced within this tiny coffee shop. The woman yelled so loudly at this family and there was nowhere for them to go within the space.

The baristas were either terrified or angry, but they couldn’t say anything. The family didn’t say a word—the mom stared back at the masked woman with silent stoicism. The rest of us gave the screaming woman the “shame on you” look.

Because, seriously. Shame on her.

Everyone is doing their best under these insane circumstances. There is certainly no need to yell. All of the things Mr. H and I escaped at home were happening live, playing out in some absurd scene in a small-town coffee shop.

So, back to the humping dragonflies.

The coffee shop scene had just happened. Mr. H and I sat on that park bench in front of the cerulean lake—trying to enjoy the beautiful summertime scenery, resuscitate our romantic getaway, and forget the screaming masked woman.

We felt deflated. Nothing seemed to work to pull us out of our funk until the mating dragonflies crashed into my face.

May I remind you as I revealed in a blog a few months back…this isn’t the first time a creature of the sky has smashed into me during a low point.

One depressing day in a hot Dallas parking lot thirteen years ago, a bird swooped down and smacked me in the side of the head. Nobody saw it happen. But I never forgot that odd conversation with nature and the life lesson that came from it.

Here was that life lesson again, perhaps heightened, being that the creature of the sky was not just one mystical dragonfly—but two mystical dragonflies—intertwined in the act of “love” so they could make more mystical dragonflies.

Dragonflies have been getting it on for 300 million years, so they pre-date dinosaurs. Female dragonflies will fake their death to avoid sexual relations with unwanted suitors. Not a bad tactic, considering male dragonflies have multiple sex organs and dragonfly mating is a pretty serious contact sport.

Due to acrobatic sexual positions mid-air—combined with several sex organs, wings, and limbs—this is precisely why Mr. H couldn’t tell if he saw two or three dragonflies humping me. We settled on two, although a dragonfly threesome would have made for an unbeatable blog title.

Dragonflies also carry a ton of symbolism, and they are most commonly associated with change and light. The need for transformation and adaptability are difficult qualities to ignore this year.

Being strangely involved in a dragonfly mating ritual may mean something different altogether. For now, I can totally get on board with the reminder to embrace change and bring more lightness into my life.

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