Life and death

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I watched the circle of life and death in my son’s garden yesterday. Beside the pond a beautiful green dragonfly alighted and began laying its eggs. I had the privilege of watching the fabulous creature for a while, its wings sparkling in the sunshine as if made of tiny panes of crystal, vibrating all the time.

I was surprised, I thought they only laid their eggs on aquatic plants, but apparently not. When they hatch they will find their way into the water and begin the long, slow cycle before once again climbing out into the air. Their casing will split and from it will emerge a fully grown dragonfly that will, itself, begin the cycle once more.

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A few yards away I admired the iridescence of a beautiful fly, perched jewel-like on the golden rod. Seconds later it flew into a spider’s web and struggled for a moment. Then it lay still, as if in acceptance.

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The denizen of the web was there almost immediately. It held the fly for a moment, then quicker than the eye could follow  spun a cocoon of silk around it, immobilising the tiny creature. Holding it tight within its grasp, the spider leaped back to its hiding place in the vegetation. The fly would be fuel for the spider’s continued life.

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It is a drama played out around us all the time, this teetering balance of life, death and birth. Much of the time we do not really notice until it impinges on our own lives and emotions, yet it is a constant companion.. more than that, we are caught within its silken toils and struggling against them serves no purpose.

But perhaps somewhere inside us is the beauty of the dragonfly waiting for the moment it is ready to emerge.

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