My husband reveres turtles. He has a collection of stone, marble, and ceramic ones. He keeps a silver one on a long chain he wears around his neck. This practice started ten years ago when I was misdiagnosed with pancreatic cancer. We had quite a scare for ten days waiting for more test results. That’s when my husband bought a small silver turtle and used it to help him stay calm and focused. Turtles are known to symbolize long life, so it also acted as a good luck charm and miraculously it was. Since that time all types of turtles are welcome in our house, and we seek them out when traveling too. For me, they are a reminder to slow down and remember what is most important. They remind me to keep my face towards the sun and savor the sunshine.
Turtle Meditation Almost unnoticed they silently swim, Camouflaged through murky water and twisting pond fronds, Floating, dark like shadows. A bale of turtles Gradually emerge with slow, Careful, ponderous steps, Lumbering towards the grassy shore, Traversing pebble and blade, Oh, so slow grace, Basking on their own time. The ornate waxed surface Of their moss-colored shells, A parquetry of inlaid squares Shine in the afternoon light. Their noble heads Rise towards the sun, Still so still… motionless, Soaking in wisdom From the sun above And the grass below, Hiss… hum… groan… They croak a Chelonian chant Carrying the weight of the world On their ancient backs, And then… and then… they Slowly let it go.