When the key in my ignition turns and there’s no power, I lift my hood to investigate the battery. What I find is a huge dragonfly tucked inside the grill. Dead and dried, but in tact, I show Jeb and tell him I’ll take it as a sign that something magical is happening.
Sure, he thinks it’s magic. He’s got a delay on getting to school this morning and gets some extra time on his skateboard while I call triple A. Still, I can see a little sparkle in his eye at my suggestion. He’s ripe for the supernatural right now – we’re on chapter eight in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.
An hour later, I’m jumped and driving. Jeb’s dropped at school and I’m en route to Aloha Transmission and Auto Repair, where a Hawaiian grandfather with white mutton chops has his adult son test my battery. His granddaughter, about two years old, wanders up to me, arms open. Her shirt says “you are my sunshine” and she looks at me as though she’s known me all her life. I move down to her height as she smiles, reaching out to lightly touch my earrings
The battery is officially dead. The alternator tests good. For less than $100, I’ve got a new battery, good for 5 years, and I’m back on the road, only an hour late for my first work appointment.
As I drive my newly charged vehicle, I stretch my mind to the days when I sat around the fire with the fringe-dwellers at Rainbow Gatherings in my twenties. The hippies may have adopted the divination practice, but animal totems are rooted with indigenous people. I don’t know much except for the Animal Medicine cards someone gifted me a few years back. I seem to recall that Dragonfly represented Illusion and the prompting to look beyond what is seen on the surface.
The metaphysical aside, basic entomological facts include a flight speed of about 24 mph, multi-faceted eyes that have nearly a 360 degree view, and a propensity for eating bugs (particularly the pesky ones).
Whatever the meaning, I’m happy to be up and running. Though our battery mishap seems to be the first in a series of strange events involving either our car, Jeb, or both. Two days later, a thief opens our car door and steals Jeb’s school backpack out of the backseat. Nothing valuable, really, but creepy nonetheless. And the next day at school, a younger girl becomes obsessed with Jeb’s bag of Chex mix, rips it from his hand, and when he tries to get it back, she bites him on the finger (no broken skin).
Last night, post-dinner, with the quiet of the evening settling on us both, Jeb reflects on the past few days.
“Mom, you know how you said you think that dragonfly meant something magical was happening? I don’t think it means there’s magic. I think what’s happening is just bad luck.”
I’m not really a ‘bad luck’ believer. Don’t know where he got this concept. But I’m not going to push my magic dogma either.
“Mmmm…” I reply. “I don’t know. I guess it’s all in how you want to look at it. I don’t understand what’s going on with some of these things happening lately. That’s the mystery. But no matter what it all means, I know one thing for sure. That dragonfly is definitely cool.”