Why does the turtle cross the path?

To get to the other side, of course – and back into the water.

The better question might be: why did the turtle leave the water in the first place?

The answer? Well… To give emilyland a totem animal message!

If you are familiar with Arlington Park in Sarasota you will know that there is a tenement, a crowded ghetto of a pond brimming over with turtles. (There is also supposed to be an alligator but I suspect that’s a ruse to scare pet owners into keeping their dogs on leash – which works BTW.) Little boys feed and torture these turtles; they seem to coexist well with the ducks.


So, this little guy making his way across the path seemed well-practiced in sensing danger. At the first sniff of my dachshund’s nose from pretty far away, he ducked his head and his tail inside his shell to wait it all out. As we passed he started back on his journey.


What is turtle’s message?

Animal Speaks, by Ted Andrews says:

“It is time to get connected to your most primal essence. Go within your shell and come out when your ideas are ready to be expressed. It is time to recognize that there is an abundance out there for you. It doesn’t have to be gotten quickly and immediately Take your time and let the natural flow work for you. Too much, too soon, can upset the balance. Turtle reminds us that all we need, for all we do, is available to us, if we approach it in the right manner and time.”


Wow. As a product of this culture and era – and probably my own wonky brain neurons – I always seem to want more, and I want it now… But all that desiring seems to do is activate feelings of dissatisfaction and dis-ease in my life. Even when I get what I want I (think I) want more, or something else…and the longing remains…

But wait, there is more! A wonderful message of ecology also comes from Turtle.

“Turtles remind us that the way to heaven is through the earth. In Mother Earth is all that we need. She will care for us, protect us, and nurture us as long as we do the same for her. For that to happen, we must slow down and heighten our sensibilities. We must see the connection to all things. Just as the turtle cannot separate itself from its shell, neither can we separate ourselves from what we do to the earth.”

So today, at least, I will slow down, connect and have a happy day. How do you connect? How do we slow down the pace but not feel like we are being left behind?