Updated: Jan 29, 2021
Once upon a time, on a beautiful, warm beach in the tropics of Costa Rica, a small courageous sea turtle was born. From the moment she cracked her egg, all odds were against her. After all, only 1% of baby sea turtles survive the short distance from the egg to the sea. But this little sea turtle was feisty from the start, and she was about to show the world how.
Buried safe inside the hole, which her momma had tenderly dug for her weeks before, she bravely burrowed her way out into the Great Unknown. She felt afraid. The new world was full of predators. Man, animals, and obstacles were all on the beach and they seemed to work together to prohibit her success.
However, deep inside her, the sea beckoned, and her spirit was both wild and fierce.
She dodged every obstacle that came her way, never once taking her eyes off the waves. She never slowed, and each inch closer to the sea gave her the will to keep going.
When the first water splashed upon her shell, she felt as if life itself entered in. With her most difficult quest behind her, she anticipated life in the Great Unknown. While uncertainty lurked ahead, she did not fear. The Ocean provided everything she needed, and she knew this. Her instincts were strong.
With one final and determined push of her fins, her shell was suddenly surrounded by the weightlessness of the salt water, and she did what she was born to do. She allowed herself to dance in the waves, the vastness of the new world before her. She knew she looked silly, spinning in circles and dipping to the rhythm of the waves, but she felt completely safe to be who she was created to be. The Ocean, whom she lovingly referred to as the Living Water, accepted her, loved her, and rejoiced over her with singing.
One day, she studied herself and realized her fins were much larger. Her shell was sturdy and strong, and she felt the urge to wander. She was enjoying her youth, and the need to spread her fins and explore seemed far greater than the risk it involved.
Off she swam, further and further away from the place she called “Home”. The Ocean gave her the space and freedom she needed to discover who she was. Sometimes, she found herself in compromising and even dangerous environments.
Once, she found herself caught in a net. Some scientists on a boat put a tracking device on her. They kept referring to her size and age as “The Lost Years” and tried their best to track her whereabouts, but her swimming patterns were random and a bit chaotic. But, even so, the Ocean never shamed her; the Ocean reminded her that It would never abandon her or dry out. The Ocean told her that It was the same, yesterday, today, and forever. As a result, she eventually learned from her poor decisions, and began making wiser choices.
And then, at some point, she grew up.
With maturity, she was ready to go back from whence she came. She understood that “going back” was actually a “swim forward”, so the thoughts of her time on the beach didn’t seem quite so daunting to face. She had grown deeper in love with the Ocean, and was reminded daily that she was beautifully handcrafted by Someone bigger than herself. With her newfound courage, she felt ready to face her past so she could embrace her future.
But first, she must choose her mate. The Ocean taught her what to look for in a mate. Using her female sea turtle intuition, she made observations, and knew which mate she would give her heart to. She was guarded, yet at the same time, open to love.
As her mate latched on to the back of her shell, they mated. They became a Union. But in that moment, and without any warning, she took on an entirely new role. She didn’t know about this new role before the Union, but the Ocean taught her, right in that moment, what she was supposed to do.
You see, with her mate still attached to her back, it was her job to swim both of them to the surface for a quick exchange of air. Not doing so would result in death. Carrying the extra burden and blessing of the Union, she set her will and her eyes to the surface of the water. Her fins grew tired from the added drag and the extra weight upon her back, but she didn’t give up. She was in the fight of her life to save them both. She focused on the light of the Sun, which was like a beacon of hope that kept her going.
Finally, reaching the top, she felt the fresh air enter her nostrils, and she could hear her mate, still upon her back, inhale a deep breath of life. They floated there for a moment, enjoying their union. Her mate honored her struggle.
When the time was right for her to lay eggs, she began the long journey back to the beach from which she, herself, had hatched. As she emerged from the waves, she remembered. She remembered the fear, she remembered the uncertainty, she remembered the hurdles, and she remembered the predators. She held her head high and a warm smile spread across her face. The gentle wave lapped up behind her, as the Ocean gently nudged her forward.
She calmly crawled upon the warm sand. She purposefully chose to emerge from the sea in the dark of the night. It felt right to follow the path by moonlight. Exposed and feeling vulnerable, she contemplated where to rest her eggs. She took great intention in determining their safety. Their future depended upon her discernment.
Finding the exact spot, she dug a hole, laid her eggs, and gently covered them with the soft sand. She giggled to herself as she moved the sand over her eggs, for she knew that scientists did not know exactly how female sea turtles, after so many years, were able to navigate back to the beaches from whence they were born. Some scientists theorize it is the oceans currents, the earths magnetic field, or water chemistry. But she smirks, because some phenomenon’s don’t have a scientific explanation. She just always knew. It was how she was created. Her spirit, unbridled and free, was born to roam and born to remember.
After covering her eggs, she decided to rest a moment. The beach wasn’t near as scary as she once remembered. She rested there for quite some time, the light of the moon reflecting on the Ocean.
For the first time, she found herself content. She was finally at peace with herself, her choices, her struggles, her pain, and her life.
With a tired sigh, she left her nest and re-entered the safety of the Ocean. The waves compelled her in, and she listened. She made her way over to her favorite spot, the coral reef. She thanked the Ocean for the beauty that surrounded her, and the food that It provided. Her life had great value in the Ocean. If she didn’t eat the algae that grew upon the reefs, the colorful corals would be overgrown and would die. Her life had meaning. Her life meant that beauty remained. She reflected on how most of her life was a solitary life, but she found joy and grew to love the solidarity. She was often alone in the Ocean, but she never once felt lonely in the Ocean.
She had a deep love affair with the Ocean: It always saw her, always loved her, and always provided for her. She surfaced once again to breathe fresh air, and, in the light of the moon, floated on her back. She looked up at the stars and admired the Big Dipper. Her eyes softened and all the muscles in her body relaxed. She took deep, healing breaths, and, feeling the comfort of the Living Water, she relaxed into the lull of the current and the music of the sea, and fell fast asleep.