Spiritual Directors International

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My Conversation with a Dragonfly

Guest Author: 
Rev. Marcia Smith-Wood




“Look at the bug,” my friend says.

I turn my head and suddenly see not a bug

but a large dragonfly - resting flat against the back of the chair near me

its four huge translucent black and white striped wings spread wide and motionless

in the sunlight,

total stillness,


and yet more.

In wordless wonder my soul silently asks,

Are you daring me to see you?

I know the answer before I hear it inside me:



You’re a messenger, aren’t you, daring me to accept a much resisted but holy invitation?

Daring me to stop the distracting busyness of my life?


Daring me to learn to rest like you in the sunlight

to finally spread my soul’s wings in quietness and wonder,

totally still and totally vulnerable ...

open, finally listening deeply to the light-filled, life-transforming love of the Divine One?



Huge round unblinking black eyes.

Narrow long light blue body.

Four huge translucent wings

totally still and totally vulnerable in the life-giving sunlight.


I remember that it takes two years after hatching

two years of growing as a vulnerable, fragile nymph

before the nymph’’s final metamorphosis into a dragonfly

Two long years surviving in this beautiful but often brutal world

Two long years before the dragonfly finally is ready to be who it was created to be.


“Yes. You are seeing the truth. I am a living invitation, which some call a metaphor.

     If I can do it, so can you.

     What you have been through has taught you much; has grown you much.

     But now this stage is over.

     It’s time. Let go of earlier stages. Let it all go.

    What are you afraid of?

    Have you forgotten the words of the Holy Oneness,

    with which you comfort everyone else?

    - “Fear not, I am with you.” -


“Yes. That’s it. Breathe. BREATHE!

      Relax your fear-based fighting muscles.

      Relax your fear-based, please-everyone-else muscles.

      Let go of what other people think.

      Let go of those who tell you, with the best of intentions,

      what they think you ought to be.


“ ‘Look at the bug,’ your friend said when he saw me, but never really saw me.

     You saw me.

     You know the truth.

     Dare to be who you were created to be! Dare to see who you really are.

     Dare to become who you were born to be ... even if no one else understands.

     Now! Have courage! Have joy!

     It’s time. Fear not!”


"Spread your soul’s wings wide; rest in God’s Presence and be transformed.

     It’s time.

     It’s time to love yourself. It’s time to be your Self in this world."




Marcia Smith-Wood suspects she danced before she walked and drew as soon as she could hold a crayon -- when she wasn’t climbing trees, that is.  She graduated with a B.A. in theatre from Lawrence University;  married; experienced the heart miracle of giving birth to two daughters; and entered seminary to combine theatre and theology.Throughout her divorce, she  found herself nurtured by the seminary who believed in her even when she didn’t  believe in herself. Receiving her Masters of Divinity from McCormick Theological Seminary in 1979, this Chicago woman was called to a small rural church in Iowa and fell in love with pastoring.  14 years there included starting the local food pantry, helping start a local Hospice, creating and directing a community theatre, giving workshops on liturgical dance, and being arrested multiple times for civil disobedience at the nearby SAC Air Force Base during the nuclear arms build up.  The church grew.  Her daughters grew.  She was remarried to a local farmer, and a son was born.  While serving a second church in Rensselaer, Indiana, a near fatal car accident opened her up to energy work, first embracing the journey of becoming a Reiki Master, then a Healing Touch PA. After ten years, she finally “left church”; claimed her call to spirituality, went back to seminary to get her Diploma in the Art of Spiritual Direction; taught drawing at St. Joseph’s College for 3 years; co-founded a local women’s spirituality Circle;  trained to be an Inter-Play teacher; leads spirituality retreats; is a labyrinth facilitator; and is a palliative caregiver doing Healing Touch for Hospice.  As part of her spiritual direction practice, she trained 2 years with the Haden Institute to become a Dream Group Facilitator, based on the works of C.G. Jung. 

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