09-05-09 - Beautiful Tortoise

Walking along the beach this evening I saw a dead turtle. It must have died at sea of natural causes as there was not a mark on it. it seems Rigamortis had set in while it was floating as now up on the sand its head was not touching the ground and its legs still supported its body, as if quick frozen while alive.

The shell was perfect, multicolored with hues of purple. it looked like it had been around the world a few times and seen many things, I was amazed in appreciation.

I have heard that you can tell how old a turtle is by counting the number or squares on its shell. I would say this one was close to fifty.

Normally when you see a dead turtle on the beach there is some sadness as quite often you can tell it did not die a natural death. The last one I saw I had ribs sticking out of its shell, I think it got hit by the prop of a motor boat. I took photos of it, there was a lady commenting while I shot. She said she was pissed off, she had seen a couple of dead turtles recently. I did not respond to her but did acknowledge her.
If I were to feel that way now it would be like someone complaining of death while standing at the entrance to a cemetery. One day, many years ago this turtle was born and made it through all the odds to become a juvenile, then an adult, a grand parent, a great grand parent, on and on.
Now, having lived a good life and died of old age it came back, possibly to the place it was born, landed on the beach still standing, head high, proud. It reminded me of the Emiliano Zapata saying “I would rather die on my feet than live on my knees”. I appreciated it. Lucky we are, in life appreciating life even in death.

I got my camera, I wanted to go back and take a photo so I could show the source of my experience. My battery was not serviceable. So, now I only have words to convey the experience I hope they are enough.

As I tell the story I refer to the turtle as “it” because I did not check for male or female. I want to call the turtle something other than it, like he, or she, or we, to somehow connect with it more. It just may be one of those few and far between success stories, a full life before death.

Quick to post it, before I become fearful and hesitate. I can always blush tomorrow, its one of the sure sings of fun.