The Secret Ceremony

it started in a dream.  or was it a dream, really? turtles.
Turtles, crossing the road, moving forward. Traveling slowly, as turtles do, while cars whizzed by them. The turtles, unfazed by the speed of that which was moving around them.  Steady, slow, determined.
This crossing to where?  why? I wondered these things as I witnessed their travels.  Cars stopped.  A momentary pause in the buzz of activity.  A driver gets out,  helps the Turtle reach a safer place on its journey.  Everyone is patient, no one gets irritated.  In a brief moment we are all connected to this turtle, her journey, and we are all reverent in the process.
This is a gift, this crossing.  To those who witness it, not just to the one initiated.  I see this scene, not once, not twice, but 3…4 times played out. Exactly the same each time.  I am always the car right next to to the car who stops the traffic for the turtle.  Like a co-pilot, a prime witness, to this event.  I wonder in vain, ‘what does it mean”?  But meaning is often difficult to ascertain in the moment. There is only being present to what is happening.  meaning follows presence.
 And then the turtle enters my dreams.  Night after night I dream of turtles.  The last night of these dreams, the most potent.  A beautiful huge sea turtle who is trapped.  something heavy tied around its back leg holds it to the sea floor.  I saw this injustice happening.  Someone did it intentionally. I felt it like it happened to me. And so I am searching for the sunken sea turtle, with little hope for its survival. With diligence, I find it. I see her limp body weighted to the bottom of the sea.  I go in to bring her out, and as I lift her out of the water, I see her still struggling to free herself.  Her limbs fanning the air around her in an invisible dance.  My heart leaps. She is alive.  More than just alive, she is totally fine.  I untangle her foot and place her on the waters edge and for a moment she turns around and we lock eyes. The turtle and I.  And the depth of her gratitude washes over me as a gift of tremendous bounty.  I am humbled.
 And she turns and dives into the water.
 Free.