Turtle Teachings

Over the past three days I’ve seen eight snapping turtles laying eggs. These ancient creatures that have been around for hundreds of thousands of years virtually unchanged.

I watch the mother turtles dig, dig, dig, then drop gooey ping pong ball eggs into the 12 inch deep hole and cover them over before returning to the water.

What is most striking is that these turtles are seeking out the best location to lay their eggs and they have all come to the same conclusion: The gravel at the side of the road is just the spot!

There is a fierceness and dedication shown in these turtles as they face danger that roars by on the road a few feet from their nest, because the gravel there is the best nesting site.

Chunky granite gravel must be easy to dig, while provide a safe amount of protection from preditors, and being a proper type of material for freshly hatched turtles to climb through and make it safely to the surface before heading to the nearby water.

Over the millenia, snapping turtles have found the courage to stand their ground. As Gloria Estifan is singing on the radio as I type: hopefully, “I’ve finally found the courage to stand my ground.”

I’m called to think about my fierceness today.
Just think about it:
What am I willing to risk life and limb for? What values do I stand for in my workplace with my team? How do I communicate these values? In the face of what adversity do I turn and return to safety, while neglecting my deeper need to stand up and do or say the right thing?

Fierceness is not the same as agressiveness, it’s more like tenacity, or a willingness to be seen doing the right thing. 

Others should not recoil from me because I am loud or abrasive while stating my needs with my team, or doing my work the way it needs to be done.

Like the snapping turtle, I may need to cloak myself in protective armour and dress for success, and project my needs with confidence and self assuredness. But also like the turtle, I need to just do what I need to do, how I need to do it, and when I’ve done the best that I can, turn my back and head to the safety of the water, and there wait, wait, wait….
in the hopes that some of the eggs I bury make it safely into the world.

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