We are used to thinking about nature as sending “messages” with big things like weather and earthquakes—though we often scoff at the idea as superstition. But there is a whole tradition around the world of looking at the little signs from nature and examining the personal messages that may be there for us.
This morning as I went out to sit on my couch for my morning coffee, I had a visitor! It wasn’t the usual caterpillar or fly, but a box turtle. After wishing her a delightful good morning, I went to get my favorite books to see what message she had for me. The architect who helped us design our house told me about these books (he doesn’t use a computer at all, so he said they were hard to find, but I found them immediately on Amazon.com!). In his free time he studies shamanism. The two books are by Ted Andrews and they are Nature Speak and Animal Speak. They are a little strange sometimes, mystical with a capital M. But I enjoy dipping into his books as signs from nature appear in my life and seeing what they have to say.
What does a turtle signify? Well, as you can guess…slow down! That, ironically, is exactly what I have been contemplating this week. So I interpret the turtle’s appearance as a sign that I am on the right track. Since it is a box turtle, Andrews suggests that I might also need to learn how to protect myself more. Again, something I’ve been contemplating. As I rush about from meeting to meeting and try to solve all the problems of the world and also get dinner made in a reasonable time, I sometimes forget to take care of myself and keep myself strong and healthy. Turtles are also a symbol of longevity, which is good because I’ve been thinking about how to keep myself healthy for the long haul.
Much of this is common sense. But how often is common sense missing in our lives? Especially when we are rushing around and too busy to reconnect with our common sense. I will leave you with this quote from the last paragraph of Ted’s turtle section. Perhaps you, too, can get some turtle magic today:
“Turtles remind us that the way to heaven is through the earth. In Mother Earth is all that we need. She will care for us, protect us, and nurture us, as long as we do the same for her. For that to happen, we must slow down and heighten our sensibilities. We must see the connection to all things. Just as the turtle cannot separate itself from its shell, neither can we separate ourselves from what we do to the Earth.”