turtle and loving my friends

by sarah hair Email

I woke at my friend's house from a girl sleep-over last night. I was extra tired from staying up late and making melted plastic figurine bowls and eating brownies and chips and hummus and salsa. It was a great slumber party, but I had to be at yoga at 8:30, so not enough sleep even though I got the top bunk!

On my way back home from her house, which is in Camden, I got lost. I have been informed maybe seven times today by seven different people that Camden has only three lights. I guess this is significant because it should help me to orient better if I don't see any street lights, thereby making it more difficult to get lost. It was easy though. Have directions, miss the turn, get stuck in a detour loop, rinse, repeat, 25 minutes later end up where you began. This is the basic recipe. I could write you a better one if you were really interested.

So, once back on track, I ran over a turtle. A super-cute turtle who went directly between my tires and sucked himself into his shell in the nick of time. I saw a little cartoon version in my mind of him spinning on his shell as I zoomed past. I pulled over and dove through traffic wildly waving at the intersection (one of only three which have lights, I am told) to get the other cars to go around me while I retrieved the little cutie from certain death.

I made my way to the studio, and not knowing what else to do with him, I put the little turtle into my utility sink. I went to yoga and resolved to think about him once I had stretched and relaxed a little.

When I got back to the studio, he was still in the sink, but had some grasses and a little bowl of water! One of my friends had stopped by and taken care of him, just because he was found in the sink! This was the single most proud moment of my day. I saw the little turtle and I thought about how my friends are the kind of people who would see a creature and try to make it comfortable. THey would not ask questions, they would not ignore it, they would not try to get rid of it. If they see an animal in distress in my sink, they assume I had put it there for safety, and they try to make him as comfortable as possible. This is why I love my friends. This is what makes my friends special. This is why I love the relationships I have. Absolute trust, trust that I had intended to keep him safe there. Absolute kindness, doing something just because it would better the life of another being even if it may go unappreciated. Absolute selflessness, giving of one's time and self when there likely is no actual payoff other than the feeling of having been selfless.

I spent some time and researched what the turtle needed for habitat (fresh running water, soft bottom, lots of bottom dwelling critters and water plants to eat), wether or not he needed to be returned to his area or his family (he did not), life expectancy (about 55 years!), and several other things about the turtles so I could share them with the girls and their friends.

The turtle ended up hitching a ride with another friend who offered to relocate him to a more isolated area with fresh water. Another selfless act performed voluntarily by a friend who just wanted to help this little creature have a better life.

I am so happy with the kindness and generosity of my friends. I just adore each and every one of them and I am so proud that they are mine. This is what makes life worth living. The connections we have to the earth and to one another are what defines the richness of the experience. I am thrilled that my experience is rich and my connectedness to my friends and their connectedness to the creatures on this planet are what makes me feel alive.

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