Tuesday, May 5, 2009
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.