This was probably the coolest thing I read today. I found it in my FB feed from Shining Earth.
“To understand the true nature of the coming awakening, one can find a beautiful parallel in the life cycle of the dragonfly. Dragonflies spend much of their early lives underwater. As underwater insects they are known as nymphs, and unlike most pond insects, they do not have to come to the surface for air. For most of their lives, nymphs live totally underwater where they are highly successful predators, feeding on anything from leaf litter to small fish. During this stage of its life, the nymph goes through a series of “moults”, stages of maturity in which it sheds its skin but still remains a nymph. These stages of the insect’s life can last several years, and during this time it has no idea whatsoever of what kind of future lies ahead. It is undergoing a series of “hidden” mutations.
Then one day, all of a sudden, some sleeping gene deep within is triggered, and the nymph does something totally out of character. It finds the stalk of a nearby plant and climbs out of the water. For the first time in its life, it tastes air and direct sunlight. Once the nymph has left the safety of its underwater environment, the sunlight begins to work on it, catalyzing what will be its final moult. It is at this stage that the true magic occurs, as the advanced creature hidden within the nymph cracks the outer larval skin. Over a period of several hours, four crumpled wings appear, and the distinctive slender thorax begins to uncurl.
What is of great metaphorical relevance at this stage concerns the element of water. As the emerging dragonfly rises out of the element of water, and prepares to be reborn into a new life in the element of air, the water that still lies within its body becomes the key to the transformation process.
Through a process of hydraulics, the water within the nymph’s body is pumped into the emerging wings and thorax, causing them to unfurl and spread out for the first time. In other words, the dragonfly assumes its aerodynamic shape by means of the water from its old life. This water is what drives its mutation from nymph to dragonfly. As soon as all the water is expended and the dragonfly is fully extended, it takes to the air and begins its new life.”
~Richard Rudd, in the book "The Gene Keys"