When I returned home from running errands today and was walking up my pathway to the front door, look who I nearly stepped on! She looks much smaller in the pic then she did in real life. For all of my 22 years in this home, I have seen butterflies, snakes, hawks, pileated woodpeckers, dragonflies, possums, raccoons, armadillos and all the rest with whom I have had the honor and privilege of sharing Mother Earth. But never has a turtle shown up directly on my path. Or anywhere in my yard within my eyesight. So I did what any good student of animal guides does…I looked up the meaning of turtle.
Now today has definitely not been my only encounter with this powerful animal. Back about 14-15 years ago, I could rarely get in the car and drive ANYWHERE without running nearly headlong into a turtle of some variety. I would pull over my car to the side of the road and helped the creature across the road. This was
frequently met with less than gratitude. Particularly the large snapping turtles – they seemed not so enthusiastic about my interference but without my help they would likely have been squished on the road.
When I met turtles back those many years ago, I was somewhat less versed in all the ways we are helped along our path. I did, however, learn that turtles teach me to turn within when I’m flustered and frustrated. They teach me to slow W A Y down. They help me get the ground beneath my feet when I am swept away again and again in the throes of the angst I create in my human form. They teach me to breathe and get grounded and centered. They teach me that all is well with the world even if it does not appear to be well. They teach me that I am not alone.
I continue to need this teaching because I often isolate myself when I feel discombobulated, or tired and hungry, or I’m stuck on a “beat Lulu up” phase. I feel turtle understands as she frequently pulls inside herself to find safety. Isolation is wildly different from quietly turning within. I’m super great at isolation. That’s where I hole-up and eat a bunch of donuts and then beat myself up some more. Calmly turning within, breathing, praying, remembering who I am – now THAT is wonderful and oh-so helpful.
So I appreciate my turtle sister showing up at just the right time for me today. I’m also grateful for friends and family who offer just the right counsel at just the right time.