Rev. Nancy's Blog

Tortoise Talk

Thirteen plates on a turtle or tortoise shell, one for each moon cycle in the year. Turtles are among the most ancient beings still living on the earth, and have significance in cultures around the world. Earth is Turtle Island in Native American traditions. A land turtle – tortoise – moves with focused determination across the landscape, and must stick its neck out to move forward.

I’ve long had an affinity for turtles, so was happy to keep this six-inch tortoise while his people vacationed. He earned his name, “Turbo,” for the speed with which he sprints across open space into his safe shelter. One afternoon during his stay, I formed the heart-to-heart and mind-to-mind communication link, and asked Turbo if he’d like to talk. He turned out to be quite chatty.

He asked, “Who are you? Am I going to stay here?”

I identified myself as the mother and grandmother of his people, and assured him they would come back for him.

“Oh. That’s okay. I sense they’re having a good time.” A pause, then, “I like the quiet, the interaction, living with them. I have lessons to teach. It’s about slowing down, being in each moment. I carry my house with me so I travel light. It may take awhile, but I get there. I carry the ancient wisdom of the earth and water.

“All will come to be. Moving slowly keeps me from distraction. The currents and eddies swirl around, but do not divert me. I like the chapter about turtles in your book. Write about me.

“I’m a handsome dude, as tortoises go. I’m quite young yet though. I live in a small world, but I expand far beyond the physical confines. I help bring peace and steady movement. Everything comes together in its own time.

“That’s all for now, I’m napping.”

I thanked Turbo for talking with me, and placed a fresh leaf of kale in his enclosure for him to munch when he woke in the evening.

I had to smile. As often as I’ve told people that the animals around us can read our thoughts, I hadn’t realized that Turbo had heard me read chapters of the book I’m writing, as I wrote them. Thank you, Turbo, for that reminder. And as you requested, I’m writing about you.