all I want for Xmas
(originally posted 12/17/2019)
A common misconception about Xmas wishes that can’t be granted is that they have to be extravagant. Not so with mine.
I want to see a dragonfly on Xmas Day.
Of the order Olonata, infraorder Anisoptera (from Greek ἄνισος anisos, “unequal” and πτερόν pteron, “wing”, because the hindwing is broader than the forewing).
And before you tell me to go out to a local pond, break through the ice and take a gander at what is sure to be a plethora of the ol’ Olonata knocking about in their nymph stage I think we both know that I mean the giant colorful variety that buzz around in the summer.
The finished product if you will.
Note: I could have the called the gross, terrifying, looks-like-a mini-version-of-every-evil-alien-from-space-here-to-consume-us, stubby brown/grey aquatic creatures larvae but I thought ‘nymph’ has a lot more subtext to it. This might be confusing to those of you who are familiar with the fact that dragonflies only mate during those short, sweet months when they are flying around topside but if you’re going to make a metaphorical omelet you have to be prepared to break a few metaphorical eggs.
Also note: Nymphs, both metaphorical and garden variety, hatch from eggs.
Nymphs, as it turns out, lurk in ponds and such for up to three years before emerging (one of the few insects that don’t pupate) and they spend the entire time eating everything that they can get their giant claws into.
Draw ye analogies where ye may (I would typically say “Draw your analogies where you may” but I feel ye is a lot more festive and more in the spirit of the season).
Where I live, and perhaps more importantly how I live, precludes the possibility of seeing a dragonfly on Xmas Day.
It does not, however, preclude me from wanting to.
Male Calopterygid damselflies, the bad boys with green metallic bodies with black wings, actually have dance contests to win the favor of females. They will zip around doing acrobatic maneuvers until they get what they want or, as often as not, use up all of their energy and fall dead into the water without mating.
Talk about a relatable Xmas tale.
Makes the Island of Misfit Toys seem like Hedonism II.
I guess the holidays are a good time to sit back and reflect on our desires and decisions. While it is easy to say that a dragonfly has a very short life span, the same can be said about us. Really we’re just larvae into our teens and the time after that seems like it passes as quickly as a single summer. So I sit by the fire and look out at the cold outside and long to see a dragonfly hovering by the window.
It might only be for a few seconds but I’d hold that moment and keep it longer than any present.
Even I’m not sure which ‘present’ I meant.
I guess they are both gifts. The trick is remembering to appreciate them as they pass. Life’s little moments…
a brilliant, albeit hilarious, escape…
a heart-warming interaction with a squirrel…
feeling like a sucker…
or a blender. I’ve been adding a lot of stuff to my protein shakes lately and my old blender is starting to make odd noises.
Yeah… now I think about it maybe I’d rather have a blender.
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