Blog Your Blessings: Life in Turtle Time
You stop the car and jump out. You lift him and carry him across the street. You place him near the water. He goes on. Again and again and again.
Because this world has more than its fair share of self-absorbed jerks who won't look, who won't care, who won't give a damn if they kill these guys.
Turtles are everywhere right now, and they are looking for partners to continue their bloodline. They have been here since the earliest of times, they have survived every circumstance Mother Nature has delivered, and now all they need to do is cross the road to keep on.
To survive, they must compete with the self -absorbed fools who will drive at top speeds in their shiny pick-up trucks to impress their girlfriends they are not afraid of the speeding ticket, the pedestrian, the geese, the turtles.
I spent a lot of last weekend helping turtles cross the road.
I spent a lot of last weekend thinking on the one turtle I helped cross the road but could not keep alive. Some brute in a silver pick-up drove over the back of him and crushed his shell and damaged his legs.
My daughter and I witnessed this heartless maiming. We watched this silent creature try to continue his journey across the road to do what he was meant to do--keep on. He lifted himself and dragged his damaged and bleeding body despite the trauma.
I lifted him and placed him in some cool, tall grass. I apologized for the idiot in the truck. All the while, the blood streamed out of him, a horrifying crimson that told me life would soon be over for this animal. Because some heartless, self-centered man who didn't slow down to consider he was not the center of the universe but lived in a beautiful part of the world that hosts myriad life crushed him and moved right along.
Later that day, I stopped the car in a driving rain to chase another turtle across the road. Next day, a box turtle in no hurry at all let me take his picture before I brought him to safety. A few days later, I escorted a snapper across the road and into a swamp. "We're in this together, dude, so make it quick," I thought as cars zipped by.
Two women stopped to ask me if the snapper was mine. "Hell, yeah," I thought. "But he's got to do his own thing."
That little turtle who was crushed but kept on because you do what you do taught me all over again to love and honor life.