So much negative news on the television right now — round-the-clock coverage on finding a suspect in the Boston Marathon bombings last week. It puts our nervous system in a state of high alert, of fear lurking around the corner. Don’t go out of your house. Lock the doors. Don’t let anybody in. Will our city be next?
So, I will offer an alternative today, a story that will make you smile.
By chance I happened to see a little story on TV that offered a good life lesson for all of us. An organization on the east coast rescued turtles in the midst and aftermath of hurricane Sandy. I’m not sure what condition the turtles were in, but now they were ready to return to the Atlantic Ocean.
A truck arrived on a sandy beach. The pleased workers carefully took out 240 to 250 turtles, ready to return to their natural habitat. The spotted turtles, with about 16-inch or so shells, were lifted out of the truck. At the front of the TV screen were the turtles and toward the middle of the screen a few feet from the turtles were the waves lapping up onto the beach.
The turtles seemed to have smiles on their faces, looking directly at the water, anticipating their freedom. As their legs touched down on the sand, they looked forward and started moving. Slowly, ever so slowly. Their destination was clear but they didn’t hurry. They took their time and didn’t touch or run into each other. They just moved forward. Slowly, right side forward, then left, then right. . .then gracefully moved into the water and were at peace as they returned to their home.
In Tai Chi when we practice walking, I often mention that ‘the tortoise wins,’ meaning the slow, steady, purposeful movements of the tortoise, the turtle is what we want to emulate. The turtles are steady, focused and intentional. They are in the moment. The live a long time.