These sea turtles have gone along with me each time I've left home this year.
Nestled in my little plastic travel case, they traveled to New York, to Pennsylvania, to France, and to North Carolina. They are among my very favorites, purchased 23 years ago at the Sugar Cane Festival on Oatland Island, near Savannah, GA.
I've been saving them for the perfect day. But this morning, I realized that perhaps there was no perfect day for my sea turtles this year. That I'd better just wear them before 2011 came to a close.
Some possible reasons? My son Willem is heading this way tonight. He's taken his last college exam. His diploma will be coming in the mail. (Graduating is December just doesn't get the same recognition. What's up with that?) He's returning to his childhood home before setting out on his own journeys. Sea turtles return to the same beach, year after year. How do I know my turtles are 23 years old? I bought them when Will was a few months old, back in 1988.
Today is the 19th birthday of a young friend of ours who had a fluke snowboarding accident last winter. His head injury has led his family into unfamiliar territory. They've encountered many unforeseen hazards, overcome many obstacles, and navigated their way through a myriad of medical settings. Their goal just now is to bring their boy home for the holidays. Back to that familiar home ground from which he first headed off into the world.
Sea turtles. As I wrote back in April, some peoples have believed that the Earth rests on the back of a turtle. Turtles, some of the most long-lived of all creatures. Hardy travelers who head off on long, mysterious voyages, but who always return home.