Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Turtle Tuesday

It’s Tuesday and you know what that means….Turtle Tuesday over at B’s blog. “B” combines a turtle story with and inspirational message and it is well worth the trip over there to visit her blog and see what she has for us today. But now that I invited you to visit her blog, with my luck she won’t be posting today and I will end up with egg on my face so to speak. Not turtle egg mind you because that would be illegal. "B" has been a little squrrel-ly lately too, so just in case she hasn’t posted yet, let me tell you a turtle story here.

When I was young, growing up in Ormond beach Florida, I loved walking on the beach just at dawn. One morning after a storm (hurricane) had passed I took one of those walks. The beach was covered in seaweed. As I walked past the seaweed, something caught my eye. It was a tiny sea turtle half buried in the seaweed. I leaned over and picked him up and to my amazement he was still alive. Upon closer examination I found another and another. I began moving the seaweed and there were literally thousands of turtles all caught up in the seaweed.

The sun was coming up and it was already getting hot so I gathered as many as I could and put them in a bucket that I also found on the beach. It was a long ride home on my bicycle carrying a bucket of sea turtles/seawater but I struggled and made it without crashing. Once home, I put them in a big washtub and left them alone to rest. The little turtles became active after a short while and I caught some fresh marsh shrimp to feed them. After about a week they were strong again so on a calm evening, I took them back to the beach and released them. It was great to see the tiny sea turtles heading back to the Gulf Stream and I felt good about what I had done.

It amazes me to think about what those little turtles went through. Just imagine them Floating along in the Gulf Stream, happy and content. Then a hurricane passed by and they were tossed violently in the storm and taken from their home. The storm also stirred up trash from the bottom of the ocean and the turtles got tangled and ended up stranded on the shore in a twisted pile of seaweed and trash. Any that weren’t covered with the seaweed were eaten by shore birds and the ones inside the seaweed eventually died from the sun’s heat. Life isn’t always kind.

But those few that I took home with me had a chance. Despite being tossed about in the storm and left for dead on the beach, at least they had a chance. I still remember picking up that first turtle. He raised his tired head, looked at me and opened his mouth like he was trying to say something but there was no sound. I wonder what he was thinking as I held him in my hand. You know when he was being tossed about in those waves he wanted to give up but he didn’t. He held on. And when he was weighted down with all that seaweed and trash alone in the dark, I am sure he thought it was the end but it wasn’t.

Can you imagine what they were thinking as the weight was lifted from them and they saw the light of day again? That first breath of fresh air that rejuvenated them as they were lifted from the rubble and given hope again. Then they were lifted up and taken to a safe place, fed and strengthened again. I wonder if they can comprehend the feeling of being saved? It must be an awesome feeling to be saved like that and it is a good reminder for us to never give up hope. There is hope if we never give up even when things seem impossible.


173 May your hand be ready to help me,
for I have chosen your precepts.

174 I long for your salvation, O LORD,
and your law is my delight.

Many years later, I was fishing off the coast of South Carolina and a sea turtle surfaced near our boat. This isn’t uncommon. It happens all the time but usually once turtles see the boat, they dive and swim away quickly. This time was different though. This turtle floated there at a short distance and looked right at us. After a while he did dive but soon reappeared and again just sat there watching us. He was a full grown loggerhead which was the same kind as the tiny turtles that I tried to save. And I had to wonder if maybe, just maybe…….

Have a wonderful day.


Chatty Kelly said...

Awww. That gives me goosebumps. He was saying "thanks Greg, for saving my life." What a fabulous story.

(I especially liked how your snuck a Bible verse in there too).


The Dental Maven said...

What a sweet story. It pains me to think of all those marooned turtles!

Scarlet said...

This story also gave me goosebumps...not turtle bumps, but GOOSEbumps. Seriously, especially the part at the end when the full grown turtle stuck around looking at you, maybe thanking you in his own way.

What you did was awesome, Greg! Sweet. The message is loud and clear. Not only should we never lose hope, we should do our part to help out (even if it's just a little bit) because it makes a difference.

What a beautiful tale...not TAIL, but tale. ;) Thanks for sharing Turtle Tuesday with us!

skoots1mom said...

how cool is that...
loved your recollection.

B His Girl said...

Well Greg, you have blessed this turtle girl. B stuck her head up late this morning or was it after noon on the B log...Anyway, I am refreshed with your story. I am going to print this post and save it in my journal. And to think you served them shrimp. You are after a turtle's heart for sure. I don't get turtle bumps or goose bumps but I do feel the Lord's Presence now as I type this. May God continue to rock our world! Save the turtles! B His Girl

Katherine Aucoin said...

That was a fantastic story Greg!

Peggy said...

Greg what a wonderful story. You made a difference in those little turtles lives and I think that the adult turtle that you saw later in life was one of those turtles. What a magical moment! I loved it!

Rosezilla said...

Yeah, you might not be able to save them all, but what you did mattered a lot to those turtles! My boys use to rescue baby snapping turtles that were trying to make it to the lake behind our house. One time one of us accidentally hit a turtle nest with a shovel and broke one egg. We buried the rest to hatch, but the one without an egg we put in a butter dish with a little water. he had an egg sack that he slowly absorbed and eventually we were able to release him in the lake. He had a scar on his shell but was otherwise fine.

Jenny said...

Great story Greg :)

Marla said...

That was really a great story. One should never give up on Hope! I bet that grown up turtle knew who you were!

2Thinks said...

I love turtles. Hubby found one in the woods just last week- showed all the little suburban neighbor kids- went over very big with them. My aunt and uncle used to volunteer w/a group that saved loggerheads- made sure the babies got to the sea safe from shore birds etc. They had to sit out on the beach all night to watch for the hatchlings. Great story!

Terri Tiffany said...

This was one of your best written stories so far!! I loved it!
Thank you for your posts and prayers for us. I think when my husband lost his job, we gave up our dream of having any wealth at all. Now we just want to survive:)) Funny how life changes the way we think really fast.
Blessings to you too!

Debbie @Like a Rose said...

Maybe! How cool that you knew what to do to save them. Great post.

By the way, you aremy favorite commenter this week with that comment about our new arrival!

Carmen Gamble said...

I really enjoyed this post Greg...and I'll bet he WAS one that you saved that day. God had a different plan for him, so he sent you. Does God really care about turtles...you bet he does!

BTW..there's someone that comments in Chinese who supports and argues for reincarnation on our blog comments. Just FYI!

Bardouble29 said...

Hey Greg...Don't know if you even remember me...I used to be one of your blog buddies and i disappeared for awhile ( a long while).

Its good to see you are still around and writing.

MGBHLH said...

I love a loggerhead turtle saver. I think those are the most precious animals (be they reptile, mammal, amphibian). What a sweet boy you were.

I can't wait to retire to Edisto and be one of the "Turtle Ladies" on the turtle watches.

Sandy said...

Really nice story Greg, I enjoyed reading this.

Suzanne Casamento said...

That's a great story. I love the you put horeshoe crabs back in the ocean and nurse turtles back to health.

I admire the way you value life.

Edie said...

What a great act of kindness Greg! I love turtles. I would have been trying to recruit a team to head to the beach and save em all.

I'm sure that one you saw years later knew it was you, I'm just sure of it. :)

Been missing reading your posts and the smiles they bring.

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