Is it possible to identify with animals about our world because of a characteristic that brings us calm, say as a recognition of its essence? The most magnificent turtle I ever saw blended with the dust and dirt of a dry river bed the color of roasted sand near the Agate Fossil Beds National Monument at 301 River Road in Harrison, Nebraska. I stared at it because I could not make out if it was merely a gigantic boulder. Had I been more patient, I may have seen it move faster than I would have expected a turtle to maneuver. They do. It said one won a race with a rabbit.
Twenty years makes a difference in what we know. The first twenty years are a mixture in the trail mix package of life. For me, the next forty years delivered responsibilities for which I wished for tools I did not have or realized were needed to do a better job. By the time I turned sixty, I had swum the body of water from shore to shore and the exhaustion was both exhilarating and downright reflective of an incredulous journey across tides and storms.
Looking at the red eared turtle one morning this week caused me laugh out loud. It dared to push passed the grass forest straight to a bed of pine needles and fairly fast for its short limbs; once upon the heap, she made a circle to leave an imprint I can return to see and not forget. I have been there …in her place … many times before. Now I know it to have been what I call “turtleling”, a way of living quietly out loud to be demurely assertive.
A lone turtle may not always be alone though it seems that even when they sun themselves on a log, they are contemplating how everything outside themselves may affect their souls. An unfamiliar sound triggers their plop in the water one by one and off they go faster than you or I could go. I would not venture to capture one. I would not dare. I think the wings of their souls keep me from infringing on their lives however short or long. They carry their coat of arms as a badge of honor, and if one had to spend a year learning all there is to know about turtles, the rest of the years would unfold rather nicely.
Apparently these painted turtles have a lineage history of fifteen million years… I don’t know if I misread. That sort background earns my respect and the males can live up to fifty years in the wild… I may have misread. They are carnivorous as they enjoy fish, frogs, plants and such though the closest I ever came to feeding one was when my sons had one named “Fruity”… It was a thrill until we heard stories that led us to the vet to deposit it for his care or to pass to others.
We know so little until we make the time to learn more. That is always a good indication curiosity benefits the survival as well as the aim to invent to fill a need. Turtleling is taking it all in to go forth safely through adventurous passages in this paradise earth. If turtles could talk, their sound could be heard like the echoes in the winds flushing flashes of pages turning upon the rocks of ages.
“Turtleling” for survival is a way of sheltering one’s soul from hurtful forces in nature. Human nature knowingly or unknowingly can cause great pain to another, and the elderly have a combat shell to protect the child in them. They too cry. They look with wonder at the stars. They hear the harmony and soar to smile when the coast appears clear.
Turtles retreat for cover as we do as humans to protect ourselves. Though we are their giants, they stand to fulfill an earthly purpose in this garden on earth. Like Caleb taking an unpopular stand for God, at the risk of being devoured by giant like Goliath sized people, we are taught to take care about taking opinions as fact, and trusting God to take care of the big miracles ahead.
The closest I could come to a turtle like analogy in the Bible, was the standing for what is true. In Numbers 13:31-33… I can only invite you to read about Canaan, the land of milk and honey, promised by God to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.