Friday, April 28, 2006

turtle watching

i have taken to spending time almost every day up at shaker lakes just turtle watching. it was about two weeks ago that after a mildly intense walk with hand weights i found a rounded patch of dry grass to sit on by the northwest corner of one of the lakes. i saw a large turtle shell sticking out of the water and a tiny little turtle sitting on the shell. i then noticed that some of the deadish leaves laying stagnant in the mucky bank sod were actually turtles. i began to check this turtle nest daily and by day three i was convinced that the large shell hadnt moved even an inch... this past tuesday, i saw the shell had begun to decompose, and now it is gone.

i also discovered a new path on the north side of the lake that took me right down to the water's edge, and except for a rancid whiff every now and then i felt really relaxed. as i walked this path, i heard a splash here and there and became more attentive to the things around me. there were many dead branches that had fallen strategically into the lake, and often there were turtles, little and big, lined up on the branches. i suppose these were the brave ones, and the splashes the fearful turtles.

the turtle is a totem, a protector, of mine. i kind of chose it for myself after i was diagnosed with ms. i just wanted to crawl into bed (shell) and hide. i had turtles tatooed on my wrist even. but about a year and a half ago, it was early fall, i was driving by this same lake and saw an older gentlemen with a gaggle of children behind him confronting a turtle that was nearly the height of his knee on the side of the road. then i saw the same turtle trying to cross north park and i pulled over and got out of my car to try and move him back to the grass, and a jogger approached me and told me not to touch it, it was a snapping turtle. on the way home, the road was littered with bits of shell and turtle flesh. i thought it meant it was time to get a new totem (it was a very powerful image, especially considering i turned away from protecting the animal, as was my first instinct). i have been waiting for a new one to come along, and i've apparently been handed the same protector. Turns out the turtle means much more then a shell to hide in....

Song of the day: soul sacrifice- santana

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