“Waiting on a hurricane is like being stalked by a homicidal turtle!” I read this statement the other day and thought it was humorous and true. My wife and I have friends up and down the east coast and they are preparing for the worst and hoping for the best with Hurricane Florence looming as she’s still deciding when and where to make landfall. The slow-moving storm has people on edge. There’s something to be said for a challenge or difficulty that comes out of nowhere to cause chaos in life and then goes as fast as it came. It’s hard but at least one doesn’t have the agony of waiting.
I was talking with a friend last night about depression and anxiety and the way they steal the joy out of life. It’s a dark storm that hovers filling you with dread as you prepare for the full brunt of the fury. You wait, you pray, you look for signs of the storm passing but it stays in one place and never gives you a true moment’s rest. Your strength is sapped by the anxiety of the approaching darkness and when the storm finally hits its wave and winds batter and beat you into submission. Rest is elusive when something is stalking you, wearing you out with threats and anticipation, and finally, when it strikes, you’re too weak to fight back.
Be kind to each other. You never know the storms that are brewing in each of us.
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Yesterday afternoon my wife and I sat on the front porch of our new cabin/shed enjoying the cool breeze and watching the sun slowly set. All of a sudden Beth asked; “What’s that moving across the driveway?” We live in the country so there are a number of answers to the question but as I stared at the slow moving object I couldn’t tell.
My curiosity peaked and I walked off the porch, down the driveway to get a closer look. If I’d guessed a thousand times I wouldn’t have said; “baby snapping turtle” but there one was waddling into the grass. “There’s another one!” she shouted. Sure enough there was another and another and another! “Where are they coming from?!?!” I exasperatedly inquired. Trying not to step on any as we traced their path back to a hole in the ground and watched as even more were emerging.
Beth grabbed a bucket and I began to collect them. We feared the dogs might decide they were or a snack or they’d wander into the road. The Mrs. was the spotter, I the gatherer, and by the time we rounded them all up there were 29 of the little boogers!
We weren’t sure how many to expect so we set up a couple of lawn chairs near the hole and I Googled; (don’t you love technology sometimes?) “Snapping Turtle” “eggs” “how many” and discovered the typical number was 10-30.
As we waited one more stuck it’s head out the dusty domicile. Perhaps instinct told it something was amiss, maybe it didn’t see it’s brothers and sisters but he went back down the hole and refused to come out. We waited and waited and waited. Nothing.
I took the rest of the brood across the street to a large field with a small pond, released them and wished them the best.
I felt sorry for the little guy who wasn’t willing to risk leaving where it was safe and comfortable. I didn’t like him being alone but I couldn’t force nor convince him I just wanted to help get him to another place, a good place, where he’d have the best chance at a better life.
I’ve reflected on the turtles and the truth that leaving what is known, where we’ve always been is hard. No one can make us go. It must be our choice to believe in spite of the fear, hope when we’d rather hide, trust the one who leads us also wants the best for us.