Frolic, the blue dragonfly, hadn't time to watch the little children making clay figures by the river. He forgot all about going back to the garden. On he flew, faster and faster, beyond the fields of sweet smelling flowers and buzzing bees. Skimming low over the water, he passed right by the other dragonflies who were darting about and flew into the shady grasses growing by the sides of the pond. Here in his home, hidden within the dark reeds, the rays of the Sun shone down from the sky in great streams of filtered light.
"Mama! Mama!" he cried out excitedly. "Now I know. Now I know for sure!"
"Dear son," she replied, "what's all the excitement? Where have you been since the middle of the night?"
"Oh, Mama, now I finally know--beyond all doubt--what I want to do with my short life as a grown-up dragonfly."
His Mama smiled and listened while Frolic began to tell her all about his experience in the garden. He left the pond early in the morning while the world was still dark and crossed the river to explore by the mighty waterfall. Resting on top of the grassy knoll, he watched the stars slowly fade in the morning's first light. Nearby, a little brown bird perched itself on the end of a low branch that reached out over the water. As the bird moved carefully towards the end of the limb, its weight caused the limb to bend closer and closer down to the water until the bird was able to pick at the food on the water's surface.
"What a clever bird," Frolic thought to himself, when suddenly it happened. All at once, hundreds of birds began to sing loudly and fly up out of the trees. The sky turned bright pink with streaks of silver light. It was totally awesome and so powerful that it seemed as though the whole world was turning to greet..... Then, right in the middle of his story, Frolic yawned and, without explaining any further, fell asleep on the blade of grass next to his Mama.
The next morning, just before sun-up, Frolic awoke and realized he must hurry back to the garden. Through the tall reeds he flew, out past the pond, toward the waterfall. It was daylight now, and as he approached the flower patch he could see his friend the honeybee and slowed down to say hello.
"Where are you going in such a hurry, little blue dragonfly?" asked the bee.
"I've found what I want to do now," answered Frolic excitedly.
"And what is that?" asked the bee.
"I want to rise up like the Sun," said Frolic.
"I'm going to rise up like the Sun and shine golden light on everyone," he continued.
"That's a great idea," said the bee. "But don't you think you're a little young yet and inexperienced for such a big task. Think of the work."
"Work...work...work, that's all you honeybees ever do. Don't you ever think of play, too?" questioned Frolic.
"Work is what we do best," answered the bee.
"To the dragonfly child, work is play," said Frolic.
"Very well," replied the bee, "so it is. But bees like to play too. You like riddles, don't you?"
"Sure I do," answered Frolic.
"Can you make honey less sweet than it is?" asked the bee.
Frolic thought very hard for a moment and answered. "Well, maybe you can, and then again, maybe not."
"Think about that for awhile," said the bee, "while I gather more nectar from the flowers to make honey for the Queen."
Frolic looked up longingly towards the Sun. With his big black eyes he could see Artie, the flying snake, on the horizon coming towards them.
"Hi, Artie," he shouted from below.
"Hello Frolic and Honeybee," said Artie, "What's happening?"
"We're playing a riddle game," said Frolic, "and guess what else."
"What?" said Artie, as he circled around and around.
"I know what I want to do now," answered Frolic excitedly. "I want to rise up like the Sun and shine white light and give life to everyone. Then I'll be able to make rainbows and move clouds and smile on every living thing."
"Rise up like the Sun?" repeated Artie, shaking his head and sending rhythmic waves on down his long shiny body. "Well, you are a part of all Nature, like the flowers opening up to the Sun and the tall limbs of the trees reaching for the sky. Why not wait until you understand more about the Sun's energy and you own, too."
"Wait?" replied Frolic. "Wait for what? The feeling is greater than all you can say. It's all there is for me."
"No one can stop the Spirit from rising up like the Sun," answered Artie, "But watch out. Be careful that no one gets hurt. The Sun is a great ball of fire. It's so hot that it could melt your wings in an instant. There are big birds up above that may eat you, just like the jumping fish that come from below in the pond. High in the sky there is only a little air to breathe. You must learn to control your breathing...there is gravity to hold you back..."
"I've heard enough," said Frolic.
"No more riddles or reason. I've got to go--now!"
"If you won't take any suggestion to stay low, then before you go," said Artie, "we must speak with the Ageless Turtle and listen to his wise opinion."
"Very well," agreed Frolic, "but only for a little while."
The Ageless Turtle was the most respected creature in the garden. That's because he was thought to be the oldest. No one really knew how old the Turtle was. One time his friends had tried to figure out his age and decided to call him a New Age Turtle so they could celebrate his birthday, but the Turtle didn't really care about birthdays and preferred to remain simply "Ageless."
The story is that, when the Turtle was very young, he was captured by some children who put him in a box for a few days and fed him berries while they played with him at school. The Turtle liked the children well enough, but ever since that time he has had a special fear of being put in a box--so he stays hidden inside his shell and listens and meditates. He only comes out when the time is right and the need is great. And then he usually has so much to say that he doesn't stop talking for days and days.
So Artie, Frolic, and the honeybee found a wild strawberry and took it over to the Ageless Turtle, who sat warming himself in the sunlight. Artie rapped on the hard shell with the end of his tail, and then poked his head close to the shell and whispered softly, "Wake up, Ageless Turtle. We need your help."
Slowly the Turtle poked his head out of the shell and blinked his eyes to adjust to the bright daylight.
"Why, hello Artie and Honeybee and...oh, little blue Frolic, too. Fine day to see you all." He began munching on the juicy red strawberry.
Frolic, anxious to get on with the conversation, spoke up immediately. "I know what I want to do now. I'm going to rise up like the Sun, and no one is going to stop me."
The Ageless Turtle was caught a little by surprise but finished eating the strawberry and then raised his head and said loudly, "So, you want to rise up like the Sun, do you? Let me tell you a little story. One day a long, long time ago, before you were even born, I remember when a cloud of millions of dragonflies darkened the skies and gathered together to do that very thing. They began in the water, using their jet-propelled energy, and formed themselves in the shape of a great arrow to work as a heat shield as they flew closer and closer towards the Sun."
"What happened?" said Frolic.
"They never came back," answered the Turtle. "It is too dangerous. There are other ways of knowing. Relax and meditate on the Sun. Then you will now what it is to rise up and become One."
The Ageless Turtle talked on and on, telling story after story. But Frolic grew tired of listening and was determined to do what he thought he must. So he left his friends in the garden and flew to the grassy knoll.
The winds and clouds were favorable for flying. He stretched his four transparent wings to warm them up for flight. Then off he flew, heading straight up towards the midday Sun, lifting his wings higher and higher until he was moving at over 60 miles per hour. Frolic looked all around, watching for big birds in the sky, and he could see the fertile green garden lying far below. "How glorious it feels to be so high!" he thought to himself.
Soon it became warmer and warmer, and each time he lifted his wings they felt heavier and heavier. He seemed to be moving very slowly now, almost as if he were losing altitude. But on he pushed. It became harder to breathe. His head felt lighter, and he became dizzy. Then he realized just how alone he was, so very high up in the wide blue sky. A little voice inside his head reminded him of what Artie has said--to try to control his breathing. But he couldn't stop now. He must be almost there...just work a little harder. With his last bit of energy he gasped for a breath, and then it happened! Totally exhausted and over-heated, he lost consciousness, stalled, and took a nose dive, spiraling downward so fast that his tiny body almosy lit up in a flame as it fell to the Earth.
Fortunately, he hit the soft branch of a willow tree whose leaves cradled him until he rolled out and landed in the middle of a group of forget-me- nots. And there he lay in a deep sleep for a long time.
That night the Moon was full and bright overhead, and the fairies came out to dance and sing in the shimmering white light.
"Why look!" cried the Gentle Fairy. "It's a little blue dragonfly, sound asleep, and his wing is bent and broken."
The fairies sprinkled magic crystal dust and Moon water from the pond all over Frolic and nursed him for days.
Slowly Frolic opened his eyes and regained his senses. "It smells so sweet here," he whispered softly. "Where are we? Are we in the Sun? Is the Sun in me?"
"Why, most definitely," said the Gentle Fairy. "You are here in the garden in the golden light of the Sun, and all your friends are here, too."
Frolic looked up. There was his warm-hearted and understanding Mama comforting him with the smile in her eyes, and the honeybee and Artie, and the Ageless Turtle were there too. At first Frolic thought it must be a dream, but he looked down and saw his broken wing and knew now that it was not the fall that hurt at all. And with a lot of encouragement and help from his friends, his wing began to heal and he felt better day by day.
It you are very quiet and listen, you can hear Frolic in the garden near the water's edge where the little children play, saying over and over to the other dragonflies: "We are the Sun, we are the rain. We are the ashes and the flame of the Spirit of Love and Light that lives within us all."