We stared at him for a long time (we supposed it was a him), and he stared back. It wasn’t a stare-down to see which one of us would blink first: It was communication.
The Turtle had a message.
Messages are everywhere. We are just too busy, too distracted, too interested in acquiring things, too caught up in manipulated messages, too afraid of what isn’t working, and too tired (who wouldn’t be after all that) to notice, let alone listen.
That was the message the Turtle was conveying to me. Slow down. One-step at a time.
It was a good message for the Turtle to bring. He arrived at our front door just after we had moved into a new home, and I was exhausted. I was happy to just sit and watch him, as he watched us.
We never saw him again, but whenever I start feeling tired and overwhelmed, I think of his visit.
Consider the Turtle’s skill. It lives both on land and in the water. It is always home. It is not distracted. It is purposeful. It is resourceful. It is observant.
The Turtle listens. They sense vibrations in the water through their skin and shell. They see well, and they pay attention.
The Turtle knows it has all the time in the world.
What a difference from most of our lives, where we simply move from one task to the next, without much awareness, other than getting it done.
For the Seneca Indians of northern New York State, the Turtle is the animal for the month of October.