This is a place of wild things.
In the three acres of woods in which I live these days, I am delighted when some of these wild things find me. It was racoons, the other night. Last week some kind of raptor careened past my window and landed in a tree too far away for me to see. Deer, of course, come by regularly. I have hung sacks of dried coyote urine on the trees near my plantings (blueberry bushes, tomato plants) in hopes that they will not void my harvests. The skink, who lives somewhere between the concrete walkway and the 2 X 4 that edges it, is back. Or maybe it’s last year’s offspring. Even wild things have families and homes.
Today, as I sat on the screened breezeway contemplating the wildness of things everywhere but inside me, I thought I saw a rock move in my rock garden. Yes, it was moving, ignoring the nearby squirrels and chipmunks and various bird species who were so busy gorging themselves on fallen seeds that they never noticed their pseudo-rock intruder.
This was the first turtle I’ve ever seen on our property. Maybe it was on its way to the lake, but, if so, it still had a long way to go. Maybe it had wandered over here from the little pond over on the next road. If so, it had come a long way already.
I have no idea what turtles eat. Bugs, I supposed; but I brought some shredded lettuce out anyway. And a dish full of water. It had stopped in a pile of dead leaves, to rest perhaps. I got down on the ground and looked into its tiny eyes, watched is miniscule mouth for some sign, thinking about that old 40s romantic drama, The Voice of the Turtle:
…The Voice of the Turtle (1943) charmingly reminds us, spring time stills brings flowers and the romantic notions of young lovers who engage in the rituals of courtship. And a simple love story can still resonate and provide entertainment and uplift for our distracted time. As the well-read romantic lead states, in quoting from the rhapsodic Song of Solomon in the Bible, “The voice of the turtle (as in turtledove) is heard in our land.” Spring, romance and a sort of spiritual rebirth all arrive for the two lonely protagonists during the course of this play.
If I kiss the turtle, will he turn into a prince who will rescue me? Or at least a snazzy male senior citizen who loves to dance? Ummm. I didn’t have the nerve to try.
Since seeing the turtle, I’ve done some googling to try to find out what kind of turtle it is, with it’s black skin etched with red lines and spots. No luck.
I did, however, find reminders of the power of the turtle as a totem animal:
Turtle is the keeper of doors
Turtle teaches tenacity. They have walked on the earth for millions of years. While other species have come and gone in that time, Turtles are still here, alive, well, and going about their lives.
Turtle is our Earth Mother, and through this energy we learn to be caring and nurturing.
Turtle shows up in our lives when we need to go into shell and wait until our thoughts & ideas are ready to be expressed. He also teaches us to be adaptable to our environment so we can find the harmony within it.
When I finally crawl into bed tonight, I will focus my thoughts on the turtle who stopped by for a visit today. I will dream the ancient voice of the Turtle.