Everything that has ever happened to me has taught me one thing or another.
And that big old sea turtle in Florida is no exception.
I had never seen anything like it before. The giant Loggerhead slowly made its way out of the ocean towards the grassy area separating the beachfront from the colorful beach houses and busy two-lane road that led into town.
There were about a dozen of us lucky enough to be on the beach that night. We were all mesmerized as we watched the mama turtle moving steadily forward, totally oblivious to all the action beyond the grass. That turtle had a goal in mind, and she was determined to see it through. She was doing what she had set out to do, one laborious step at a time.
If she'd been moving any slower, I'd have thought she was one of my kids getting ready for school.
She would push herself ahead with her flippers a couple of times, then stop and look around.
Another push, another look.
And so on and so forth.
It was one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen.
Even my teenagers ignored their cell phones to watch this mystery unfold in front of them.
It was a reminder that there is a rhyme and reason to this world, that turtles do what turtles are supposed to do, that life is not as random as it sometimes seems, and that barely creeping forward is still moving forward and eventually you can look back and see how far you've come.
It took that turtle the better part of an hour to make it to the grassy area where she could safely lay her eggs. It took her a couple more hours to lay those eggs, hide them to her satisfaction, and then make the long trek back into the ocean.
But she did it.
She did not quit. She did not give up. She did not turn back.
She simply took care of her baby turtles the best she could then returned to her place in the sea, leaving a trail from the ocean to the grass and back again as evidence of her hard work and determination.
This has made me wonder what kind of trail I will leave behind. I’m a little worried mine will end up looking like a series of swirls going round and round in no discernible direction. Occasionally, there may be some loose change or a brownie crumb or a stray sock stuck in my swirls of sand, but will there be any actual evidence of real progress made?
I certainly hope so.
I hope my trail leads to a finished novel, a close-knit family, and a life of faith lived out along the way.
Am I blazing the right trail? Will I keep taking the next step – and the next, and the next, and the next – until one day I look back and see what an amazing journey I have taken?
Well, that is up to me.
But I’d sure hate to be shown up by a turtle.