I was sitting in my sunroom once when a very large dragonfly zipped up my yard, up the back steps, did a 90º turn, flew sideways through the almost shut sliding glass door, and committed suicide on my forehead, smack on my "third eye". Its lifeless body fell neatly on my lap and didn't show any signs of damage from contact with my hard head.
I don't know how other people feel about moments like this, but I felt my world shifting. Having spent so much time in the woods and river, I know dragonflies don't make a habit of committing suicide, and I seldom have dragonflies in my back yard. I carefully picked up the dragonfly and thanked it for sending me a divine message.
Maybe that sounds odd to you, and I'm pretty sure dragonfly suicides aren't described in any of the major religious texts, but I notice it when animals don't behave right, or show up where they shouldn't be, or any other kind of strangeness in the natural world.
At the time of my life when the dragonfly died, I was separated from my husband, pending divorce. I was thinking about my future and my disappointments when the dragonfly came into my life. I looked at the lifeless body and knew the marriage was over. New things were coming into my life. This was the way it had to be.
When I was on my recent trip in Baltimore, a dragonfly danced around me and I thought "Oh crud!" (Okay, maybe something a little stronger than that?) I could blow it off and just say it was defending territory, but I knew better. It kept flying in my face, "Look at me!" and I said "I see you. No need to commit suicide on my head." It flew back to its territory and did regular dragonfly things while I contemplated new acid in my stomach.
My dad told me whimsical stories about dragonflies being fairies, and there are traditions where dragonflies are angels in disguise. If you want to put this in a more rational way, when I'm thinking of life changing events, I notice dragonflies. Maybe they don't do anything different at all (though I don't believe that), but I notice them because of whatever's going on inside of me. Maybe my heavy thinking makes my breathing or sweat different and there is a logical explanation, but even that's still a message to myself. Something's changing. I hate change.
I wasn't in a good marriage and needed out. Ultimately, I'm a lot better off divorced than staying put because it was familiar and what I knew. I suppose I took vacation recently because I already felt changes coming and needed time away to think about different things. I don't know how to explain feeling change coming. I just do. Let's call it female intuition. Time will tell if it works out plus or minus, but as much as I dislike change it is an opportunity for metamorphosis. Seeing the dragonfly makes me feel like whatever's coming is inevitable, so it's up to me to make the most of it.