Tonight I had the privilege of witnessing a most spectacular sight; a loggerhead sea turtle came up onto the beach and nested before my eyes. It was quite beautiful, to be a part of nature in that way, if only for a moment. However, I felt horribly human. That must sound ridiculous, because obviously, I am human. What I mean to say is that I felt as if I didn’t quite belong there. I felt like an intruder on the most private of moments (which, in many ways, I suppose I was). Once or twice, I felt the urge to shield the turtle from the prying human eyes, which would be futile because those were my eyes as well. I just couldn’t understand how these people could stand there, chatting casually while this miracle was going on right in front of them. It just seemed a terrible disrespect to the natural way of things. (Of course, it would hardly do to shush adult strangers, as I so wanted to.) Overall, it was quite a surreal experience for me, being a piece in pure nature, even for so short a time. Stories are always told about how this kind of thing changes you, and really, it’s true. It may not be in any monumental sort of way, but it shifts your perspective on day to day life just enough that you begin to notice things you didn’t notice before, like a line of ants, bravely marching across the sidewalk, heroically bringing gigantic crumbs of food home to their anthill. You remember to appreciate what you took for granted, like how easy we have it in America, and indeed, even as humans in general. And hopefully, you turn around, pick up your foot, and take a new step in the right direction.
Reflections On A Turtle Nesting
September 24, 2011