Slowing Down with a Seaturtle

I walked down the wooden boardwalk looking forward to sitting by the water. I love to write and had several projects I wanted to finish but I couldn’t stand to be inside on such a beautiful day. The thought of writing while sitting on the dock sounded perfect.

As I rounded the final bend of the boardwalk, I saw the familiar old metal chair. It was empty, unusual on such a beautiful day. Great! I sat down and I propped my feet on the end of the dock. I opened my laptop, peered over my screen to see the tips of my toes and saw the water stretching before me. Perfect! Sitting here was going to be inspirational, I could feel it. I’ll get something accomplished and be outside I thought as I began to write.

Shortly after I began, something caught my eye in the water. About two feet from the dock was a sea turtle that had surfaced and looked at me briefly. I’ve lived here for almost nine years and NEVER seen a sea turtle in the water. I was excited to see one in it’s natural environment, especially right in front of me!

I put down my laptop, grabbed my phone to take a photo. By the time I did that, the turtle disappeared below the surface. I went back to writing and a few minutes later the turtle surfaced again. I attempted to snag another photo and it disappeared below the surface. I stood there waiting for it to return. And waiting and waiting. Nothing. So I went back to writing. Well, attempting to write. At this point I was getting distracted and the urge to write was slowly diminishing.

A few minutes later it surfaced again to the left of the dock. Unsuccessfully I tried more photos and it disappeared. A few more rounds of this game of tag ensued till it finally happened; I closed the laptop and stuffed in its black bag. The urge to write had disappeared; I felt a deeper desire.

As I sat there, I looked up at the rich blue sky and noted the curvy white clouds that looked as if they were spray painted in place. I felt the perfect eastern breeze off the water blow into my face and then through my soul. Ahhh…… this is why I really came here.

Periodically the warm sun above me would briefly darken as a flock of pelicans effortlessly glided over in formation. As the water gently lapped the dock, everything appeared to be in perfect synchronization. Instead of it being a backdrop for my work it had become the centerpiece of this moment. I felt the joy and peace of just being right here.

Soon, my turtle friend popped up again as if to see what I was doing. I didn’t even try to take its picture this time. I just enjoyed the beauty of its spotted head and flippers and the privilege of seeing it so close.

The afternoon waned, like the sun in the deep blue sky, and soon it was time to walk home. As I slowly made my way, the joy of the turtle was obvious. If it weren’t for him, I would’ve filled a beautiful afternoon with more tasks. Instead, I didn’t do anything but be fully present, nourishing my soul and enjoying beautiful moments unfold right in front of me.

When I returned home, I looked up the symbolism of a sea turtle and smiled. One of the first things mentioned is not push so fast that I miss opportunities. To enjoy the journey of life and allow it to unfold in divine order.

Even though I didn’t complete any of my writing at the dock, I felt peaceful and amazingly fulfilled. Later that night, when I did sit down to write, the words just came to me effortlessly.

What a perfect reminder to slow down and enjoy the moments of life as they unfold. Knowing they’ll unfold perfectly in divine order.