“Try to be a turtle at ease in your own shell.”—Bill Copeland
A Turtle can withdraw from the world just like humans until they feel safe. Only we lack the cover of a protected shell. At least they have a choice. When they want to bask in the sun to warm themselves they find a log or a rock. If there is no room they climb the back of a larger turtle.
When they want to cool off, they float in the water like a moving island. Should they be hungry, they just scan the surface for insects. And, when a small turtle wants to travel it simply hops aboard an “Uber” Turtle to ferry it across the lake—in this case a stones throw from the waterfall near our home. Turtles have poor vision, but can feel every vibration—like a human sneaking up on them. I waited patiently to take these photos hoping these majestic creatures wouldn’t sidle into the water like many times before.
Luck or perhaps grace was with me this morning as I was able to capture the moment.
What Turtles Taught Me: Turtles are very symbolic, often viewed as the doorway between our world and mythic underworld. In fact, some cultures believe that turtles are actually holding up the world. They are the oldest reptiles dating back from 157 million year ago. It’s shell is modified ribcage and part of its vertebral column. Consequently, they cannot be separated form its shell any more that we can be separated from who we are.
Even though turtles don’t mind when other turtles stack on top of their shell, they are not social creatures. That being said, they do show us how to grow old gracefully and about living in harmony with our environment. When we feel anxious, the pace of life gets too hectic, and our minds are spinning out of control, they show us how to slow down and go with the flow. Peace!