Posted by: carolyn / through a widow's eyes | September 17, 2012

tiny everyday miracles

Even (maybe especially) among those of us who consider ourselves “reality-based”, there are many things that happen which we don’t understand. Grievers who see “signs” of our late beloved are legion among us, and if you feel something, who’s to say if it is real or not real. All I know is how these tiny everyday miracles make me feel. I consider it being a witness to my own little secular faith. Faith in exactly what, I cannot say.


 We’ve been talking about triggers: those unexpected symbols that remind us joyfully of our late love, rather than the ever-lurking triggers which can still — years later — bring back our heart-wrenching loss in an instant: the sound of a respirator, the cans of nutrition supplements for those who can no longer eat, the whine of an ambulance, cars lined up for a funeral procession.
“I would love to remember [him] by the jewelweed, the dragonflies, and all the other triggers”  
-bev w.
In my everyday life, I see hearts. I have friends who find pennies. Dimes. Dragonflies. Butterflies. Songs on the radio at the one perfect moment too precise to be random. All sorts of marvels thread through our daily lives, if we are paying attention (and perhaps if we want to see.)  I’m sure you’ve heard the stories, even if you don’t have any tiny miracles of your own.
So, this happened:
When going to farmers’ market, almost always, I park in the same spot every week. This time I took a different path and cut across a grassy expanse towards the cheery troupe of trucks and local commerce.
I saw on the grass what appeared to be a heart of some kind so I bent over to take a closer look. The heart was….not-so-much, as some of them inevitably are. But next to the heart-in-waiting lay a jewel-like dragonfly sparkling in the grass. If I hadn’t stopped to examine the heart, I never would have seen it. I touched  the dragonfly with my finger. It sort of tipped over and lay still, panting. Do dragonflies pant? I picked it up ever so gently. It appeared to be undamaged. Its iridescent wings caught the sun. It rested, unmoving, on my finger for a few moments.
Then it stepped off my finger and fluttered away into the sunny morning. I watched til I couldn’t see it anymore.
Dragonflies have never been my thing. I don’t think of my dead beloved when I see one. But because I’ve known loss, for a moment on that Saturday morning,
I thought of yours.


  1. Did not even realize, until just now. That today is.
    The. 17th. Which brings us to Month Thirty Eight. Namaste, baby. Still love you.


  2. How random….my husband died in May, and our good friend soon after. Both cancer….anyhow, our friend loved dragonflies…I never saw them, but it seemed everyone else did. It wasn’t until she passed, and we all joke that my husband and her are creating shenanigans…..
    I see them, the dragonflies, EVERYWHERE!
    It makes me laugh, and that’s better than a smile!


  3. Dragonflies bring back so many memories of hikes hrough meadows or canoe trips on a sunny day. since seeing your photos of the hearts that you find, I have begun finding them too and they make me think of you. There is a veryneat one that I must find and show you. It is among some photos..


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