“In almost every part of the world, the Dragonfly symbolizes change, transformation, adaptability, and self-realization. The change that is often referred to has its source in understanding the deeper meaning of life. It is, quite simply, a symbol of love.”
The young lady with the face of an angel had no idea what the future held, sitting backstage on the band’s drum case. Most likely she had no idea how beautiful she was, all tanned and looking like one of the models you see in those suntan lotion ads. One of the guys in the band, we’ll call him Jack, did see and he stumbled up the stairs in a hurry to put his guitar away and get back to the beauty sitting on the drum case. He had no idea what the future held for him either.
The venue where the band was playing had been,100 years ago, a grist mill. The timbers that held the milling equipment still exposed, added to the vibe of the club. The young lady with angel’s face, we’ll call her Diane, hadn’t come to see the band. She had just finished her junior year at the University of Arizona in Tucson and was at the club because her brother was the bartender. Free drinks can be very helpful to a 21-year-old college student in the midst of changing alma maters. From the Arizona desert to Mizzou in the heartland.
Without any hesitation, Jack headed straight for the drum case still holding up the young lady. Holding her up is probably the right way to put it. The bartender was doing his best to make sure his sister had as many drinks as she needed for such a change. This became apparent to Jack who was doing his very best Bogart, only to lose the beauty’s attention again and again. “It must be the gin,” Jack told himself. He made his last, desperate attempt to invite the girl to join him for the evening, and then it was time to leave. Rats!
A couple of hours had passed and the band, now back at the motel, were ready to call it a night when suddenly the face of an angel appeared at the door. “Is this the party?” she asked. It was. And that is where this story really begins. Diane had not come to the club to see the band. She wasn’t a fan. She was there for a few free drinks. The guy she had met was just Jack. After years on the road, meeting a young lady wanting to spend some time with a guy named Jack, not just the musician of the night, was something new and quite unexpected.
Diane said she already had a place near the university in Columbia, Missouri and, while she hadn’t moved in yet, she did have a telephone. Jack thrust a notepad in her direction and asked if he could have her number. He also wanted to make sure he understood her last name. It was Dutch with a lot more of vowels than is necessary, and he wanted to make sure he got that right.
It was very early in the morning and still dark when Jack walked Diane to her car. The bolt of lightning struck him as he headed back to his room, turning for one last look at the girl with the angel’s face. It dropped on him like a message from heaven. It said, ”She’s the one!” A life-changing moment he couldn’t possibly have seen coming.
This was just supposed to be another show at a cool club and maybe some after-show partying. It is said that everybody has someone meant just for them. Realizing that you have just found the one as you are walking across the gritty blacktop of a motel parking lot isn’t something you read about in romance novels. But there she was, in the dark of the night, brighter than the sun.
Love, at first sight, doesn’t give anyone time to ponder… anything. It just happens. One moment you’re living your life, which in Jack’s case had become quite a mess, and the next second your heart is racing with the kind of feelings that are meant to last a lifetime. Jack’s life had been turned upside down in the blink of an eye, leaving him in the parking lot watching his angel drive away. And in that instant, he realized it was the angel’s heart that had captured his love. “Wait, wait, wait,” he wanted to scream as the tail lights vanished around the corner.
“Get me to a hospital or get me home,” Jack shouted to the roadie driving the band van. My back is killing me.” To make a long story short, after meeting the girl of his dreams, Jack and the band had taken off for a tour of the Midwest. Somewhere along the way, Jack’s back went out, and he began a search for a good physician who fixed backs. It didn’t take long to come up with a good doctor based in Columbia, Missouri, home of Mizzou and, holding his breath, home of the girl whose tail lights had disappeared around the corner a few weeks earlier.
As the weeks went by, there were more trips to the doctor and more visits to the A-frame where Diane had taken up residence. Romance filled the air as the couple sat on the couch listening to Linda Rondstadt’s “Hasten Down the Wind”. The evenings seemed to go on forever as new-found loves often do. But eventually, it was time to go. Diane had classes, and she was determined to graduate. There was, however, a special spot for another last goodbye. A corner tavern called The Edge. It was always a great place to have a burger and a beer before a final goodbye kiss.
Jack’s arrival at the A-frames was like so many others. As always he was full of anticipation knowing that the girl of his dreams was about to open the door. The evening was as beautiful and as full of romance as the dreams that always followed him to sleep, in yet another, cold and lifeless motel room.
Diane’s second-floor room in the A-frame was a headbanger for two tall people. Conversations usually took place in the center of the room. It was there Diane handed Jack a small box. Upon opening it he saw a beautiful silver dragonfly on a silver chain. She had remembered that he loved dragonflies. “The most beautiful thing on wings,” he once told her. He put on the chain, and as he began to put the box in his pocket she said, “keep looking.” There was nothing there but the cotton jewelry sets on in a little box. ”Lift it up,” she said. And there it was. A key to the A-frame.
The lightning bolt that had nearly knocked Jack off of his a feet months ago had returned. For once he was out of words. The girl of his dreams, that had been carried away by tail lights in a motel parking lot, was telling him he no longer needed to knock on the door. There was only one way for Jack to take the gift of a key to her house. She must have decided that he was her guy. He already knew she was he was his girl, but the key helped him understand that now they were a couple.
Jack had been given many gifts in his life. A loving family, a college education, a career in music, and a hit record. What more could he reasonably ask for? The love of a lifetime. Through the good times and rough ones, Jack and Diane kept the romance of the A-frame alive in their hearts.
Jack’s life was still a mess and, for awhile, he nearly let it get away. It seemed the old life was going to win after all. But, Diane stepped in and saved him like angels often do. They say love conquers all and Diane showed him a forever love is forever.
Diane’s father owned a houseboat where they spent many wonderful times. On one of those summer nights, with dad snoring softly in the background, Tom gave Diane the only gift he had left to give. She had his heart. All that was left was a ring. The following morning there they were, Jack and Diane, sitting on the rear deck of the houseboat engaged to be married.
There is love, and then there is a love that will last forever. Jack and Diane are two of the lucky ones. They have been given one of those forever loves…with a little help from a simple dragonfly.
I also lived in an A-frame in Columbia when going to school there. At 66 I still haven’t had a dragonfly lead me to “the one” but haven’t given up hope.
Don’t give up. At the young age of 66 I’ll bet you are still a babe and there is a dragonfly searching out the right fellow for you. I have another love story about to be written. My son Matt 30 is marrying the love of his life May 4 in the woods that surround our house. It’s dogwood season so if I see a dragonfly I’ll send him your way…Tom