Of Turtles and Men

Today I swam to an uninhabited beach. As I approached the beach, I noticed I was surrounded by small dark objects. It took a moment for me to realize that I was swimming among newly-hatched turtles, swimming out to ocean for the first time. There on the beach, they came towards the water, hundreds of them, while two predators, a mongoose and a bird, I think a pelican, waited for a taste of baby turtle. We chased the predators away and urged the turtles towards the water, cheering when they made it in. Two of them were stuck in the nest. My cousin told me it takes twelve hours to dig themselves out. We (my cousins and sister-in-law) wanted to help. We picked them up and put them on the sand. They walked around in circles. We carried them into the water where they swam, in circles, not going anywhere. We realized we shouldn’t have interfered with nature so we put them back in the nest so they could dig themselves out. I’d seen this on TV but it’s amazing when witnessing it right before my eyes. The two turtles eventually got stronger, dug out of the nest and started to walk towards the water. I don’t know if they made it because they were slower than the rest and we had to swim back. The turtles made me think of us. We’re all trying to race towards something. Some of us make it. Some are slower than others. Some of us get attacked by predators and some of us get way too much help so that we never become strong enough to make it on our own. If we get carried to the water’s edge, we flounder around in circles, unable to swim anywhere.