photo by Sheri Dixon

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

The Fable of the Baby Turtle

Once upon a time, a family was out walking in the park. It was a sunny warm day- and the azaleas and wisteria were blooming in reckless abandon in the absolute tidiness of the Japanese Garden.

Rounding a shady bamboo-lined corner, suddenly they were in front of a beautiful pond lined with flowers, burbling from a waterfall, flashing bright orange and white with the koi trolling just under the surface. Turtles of every size bathed in the sunshine draped over logs, rocks, and lily pads.

Just by chance the mother looked down and there at her feet was a baby turtle. It was determinedly traveling in the exact wrong direction and was heading for the shrubberies instead of the water. Gently she picked it up, and noticed how very dry it was- the heat of the sun was making the little shell brittle and the skin on its head and feet was flaking from lack of moisture.

After they carefully examined and admired the tiny reptile, she directed her son to place it into the water, where it paddled off happily.

Offhandedly, the mother said "It better look out or it'll be lunch for a big fish".

This upset the boy, who questioned the wisdom of putting the turtle in the pond if there was a chance for it to be eaten there.

The family sat in the dappled shade of the wisteria trellis and gazed at the fountain in the middle of the pond.

While the safety of the shrubberies was almost certain to be free of large fish to swallow the turtle, the sunshine and heat would've been it's sure undoing- 100% chance of non-survival.

In the water, there was the very real possibility of becoming a dinner item for the koi, or a duck, or even another really big turtle, but the pond is where the turtle belonged, where it was meant to be and what it was adapted for. The only place the turtle had a chance of living at all, was where it MIGHT face danger.

The apparent lack of obvious danger does not make a place safe if you're not meant to live there. Better to find your place in the world and deal with dangers as they come using your innate strengths as protection.

The turtle blink blink blinked, the water cascaded off of its sleek little shell, and it dove under a lily pad.

1 comment:

  1. Hmmmm, pondering a thought. Was this meant for me, I wonder???