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Topic Archives => Articles/Stories => Topic started by: Terry_Green on May 11, 2003, 06:04:00 AM

Title: Dragonflies Dancing - by Doug DuRant
Post by: Terry_Green on May 11, 2003, 06:04:00 AM
Dragonflies Dancing

By Doug DuRant

I try my best to let go of thinking when I hunt. I want my senses to have my full capacity for input. Thinking takes up much of this capacity so I try to quite my minds internal conversation. I find listening to every sound especially the distant ones helps me to quite this conversation. If I close my eyes I seem to even hear better, but I do miss much that only vision can bring to my awareness. Then there is the smell and the feel of the air that passes by me to be allowed entrance into my hunter’s quiet mind. All this sensory input helps me keep my mind alert and quite. This mental state is one of the great pleasures hunting bestows.

However, my mind often still tries to think. It just seems to naturally want to form words. Words, they make our human connection to the reality which surrounds us. We name things, and by naming develop a consciousness of these things. They give us a type of limited understanding, which helps our awareness, but also tends to tidily box it in as well.  In order to control my minds compulsion to think I will form the words for the things which bring themselves to my awareness. This is a less distracted mind if not altogether quiet one.

Watching the dragonflies dance is an activity that quieted my mind as I sat in the shadows near a pond today.  I wasn't even hunting at the time, or really aren't we always hunting life's experiences. The wind forcing the willow leaves to whisper while blowing loose the willow down which dispersed the willow seed, and leaving it’s rippled footprint on the water also helped to take the words from me. Now thinking back on it all, the wind and the dancing dragonflies give back the words to use to describe what they gave to a quiet mind.

I sat and watched the dance unfold, and listen to the birdcalls and the leaves rustle. Backlit spring growth seems to glow in the light of the sun. In the shade with me were a black snake and a mud turtle. The snake appeared dead until I touched it. It came to life, but little alarmed, and remained. The mud turtle was on shore in the shade tucked in and peeping out from under its carapace, more aware of me than the quick black snake. I sat still and watched. The dragonflies danced as the willows whispered to the wind.

A splash and concentric ripples made by a bream or bass spoke without words of a dance perhaps shorten. Spoke without words of things hidden from my senses till they decide to speak to them. Turtle heads bob up for a look and a breath then disappear. I wonder at what dances I am unaware are being danced around me.

The birdcalls I knew, the towhee and cardinal, have made words in my mind. The birdcalls I could only guess at seemed to lead my mind to thinking what bird. I have to guard against to many questions they desire thought. I do enjoy the thrill a question can bring.

What is the rustle in the pine straw behind me? A timid turtle borrowing out of sight, and a question answered without the need for words. Reminded, I divert my gaze to the snake, which has quietly moved a little out of the open. The dragonfly’s dance captures me again. They are quick, and spend energy and time chasing each other. There are four different species. Each with it’s own dance. Some seem to fly in some kind of affiliation. Some seem to claim a space, and keep it to themselves. Some fly clasped in tandem. Some fly over the water touching down risking a splash and a ripple to lay aquatic eggs. Some swiftly dart in, stutter step, then dart out as swiftly, while others rest on a stem or hover held in the hand of the wind. My mind is quieted by the dragonflies dancing.

The puffy cumulus clouds on a now stiff breeze bring a shadow to the sunlight, and the wind's steps upon the water are much more noticeable. For reasons know only to the frogs they simultaneously break into a cacophony of frog calls. Leopard frogs, cricket frogs, rain frogs, Rana of all sort bust out in raucous calling. There excited calling matches well the excitement of the dragonflies dancing. The snake remains motionless, unmoved, and the timid turtle remains hidden.

As suddenly as they started the frogs stopped except for one or two, which called on, only to hush in embarrassment when they realize they are the only ones calling. The dragonflies kept dancing never missing a beat. My mind is a receiver now, quite and not asking. Time is still. I remain as a conduit for my senses. The willows whisper in rhyme as the dragonflies dance.

I leave after awhile, refreshed, relaxed, renewed, and aware of things I may not have known had I been thinking. The snake and the timid turtle remain still with the dragonflies dancing.