A baby turtle struggles to reach the water's edge.
|The shadows reached and stretched across the sand as the moon slowly joined the line of high hills surrounding the arc of pristine beach. Its gentle slope seemingly flat and empty of life. Everything seemed calm, all silver-tinted and quiet, except for the shishhh of the small waves on the sands edge. But something was stirring!
As the trees slowly retracted their shadows, and a new light grew bright far out to sea, the sand began to shift. It bubbled and broke as small flappy creatures poked out into the air. One here, one there, more and more, until there were bubbles appearing all along the beach, popping little creatures into the cool air. Almost in unison, they turned to face the noise they had listened to as they prepared to break out of their shells, deep in the sand, only a few moments ago. So with purpose, and a little urgency, they began to do the only thing their tiny bodies told them.....Run!
He stirred awake as he felt his world rocked and rolled. He wanted to stretch, he became aware of his confined space, and he felt the need to push and flex! As he finally broke through the shell that surrounded him, the brand new little turtle scrambled up and over the discarded others littering the sand around him. The alien surroundings he found himself in couldn't have been more different than the cocoon of soft warmth he had just come from. He felt the cool air breathe over him, felt the rough, damp ground under his body, and he heard that sound, calling him, firing his young body with life and urging him forward.
He could see above him bright specks of light, enveloped in blue-blackness, and ahead of him the scurrying bodies of his sisters and brothers, all rushing to that sound. And he knew that's what he must do as well. So he braced himself, felt his little body pulse with energy, and kicked forward, moving his limbs back and forward, as if he knew what he was doing.
He could see a bright light directly in front of him, steady and strong, accompanied by that sound fading in and out, and kept heading there, knowing it was where he should go, following all the others.
He panicked a lot in those first few moments, losing site of them every few seconds. But as he raced up and down the troughs and peaks of the sand, he could sense they were all in this together. All reaching for that sound. And so he just concentrated on the up-then-down, up again, down again, the sound pulling him forward all the time. His little body quickly became accustomed to the effort. He felt a warmth inside him that grew with each new stroke, and every time he crested a peak and he could see further, he could also see the light grow brighter. A very bright colour spreading out from the center, all along from one side to the other. And that sound! Now louder, and this gave him an extra boost of energy!
C'mon, hurry! Get to that sound and everything will make sense!
But just then, as his renewed energy drove him forward, the ground beneath him disappeared!
He was falling!..Falling, tumbling through air then THUMP! he hit something much different to the sand he had been used to so far.He couldn't move! He was on his back, arms and legs flapping, but he wasn't going anywhere!
He didn't understand what had happened, but as he looked up, he could see that one of those peaks he had rushed up was far far above him. He could see he had fallen down a long way, and underneath him he felt a hard smooth surface, Twisting and turning as much as he could, still flapping with all his might, he suddenly felt himself start to slip.And without much grace he slid off the rock and landed, right way up, a little stunned and surprised, facing the bright light again. A couple of tentative steps later, he could tell he was working ok. And so he set off again, over a new surface, not so rippled as before, but he wasn't moving as quickly. He was on the shingle, a strip of pebbles and stones that glistened in the early new light, stretching wide on either side of him.
But what really caught his attention was that sound again!
It was much louder now....swishhh..hiss,swishhh..hiss..., and then another sensation came to him! The smell! It assaulted his head and surrounded him, and he loved it! It rushed through his body, sparking urges and needs in him that almost overwhelmed him. It was strong and pungent, and he wanted to immerse himself in it completely! So, wasting no more time, he shuffled on over the shingle, every stroke of his arms dragging him closer to his goal.
His tiny body was now beginning to ache, he had used up a lot of energy, but he wasn't going to stop, not until he reached that sound. He knew that when he got there, that everything would be ok, that he would be where he was meant to be. Whatever force was driving him toward that sound, all his curiosities would soon be satisfied. What he didn't know was how suddenly it would happen!
The pebbles had become smaller, and he had been moving quicker in the last few moments, so much so that he barely had time to realise he was getting wet, and then it happened! With a great rushing noise, he was engulfed in water, all the sounds he had been used to became muted and muffled, and as he was tossed back up onto the pebbles, his surprise turned to joy! He scrambled forward again, this time ready for the rush. He braced himself as he heard the rushing water approach again, and as he felt himself being lifted up, he paddled frantically with all the energy he could, and he suddenly found himself floating in the sea! He moved his flippers now in a swimming motion, propelling himself forward, the froth from the breaking waves washing over him, but no longer driving him back!
He had done it! All his senses came fully alive, he felt his body take over, all his natural instincts awake! He swam! He flicked his flippers, he swayed his legs until he was gliding through the water with ease. He took a deep breath and slipped under the surface, revelling in his new world. As he rose to breathe again, he didn't bother to turn around to look back at where he had come from. He just filled his lungs with air, and as he once again slid under, the thought that entered his mind was that he would never return to this place.
But that was ok!
He was in a whole new world. His world!