We are used to wildlife back at our home turf, outside of Glacier Park Montana – but to be honest, we’ve had an awful lot of visitors here in central Illinois. We’ve had a raccoon steal the dog food out of the goucho, a family of foxes, 4 bats that circle the same area each night (we named them Matt, Pat, Kat and Joe) and a few deer who pass by. Last week we even had a runaway dog crawl under our motorhome, which was quite the sight, and we called the owner to come retrieve him…he had been frightened off by fireworks.
But the visit from the turtle was the most meaningful guest so far. At first, I thought “wow, neat…a turtle outside of our door!” But he hung around forever, didn’t get frightened when I squatted down to chat with him…and I was, quite honestly, mesmerized as time passed while I followed him along – until he finally meandered off into the tall grass.
After he was gone, I couldn’t shake off this feeling that this wasn’t just a visit. Since my mom passed away this year, we have had more amazing and moving experiences than either of us have ever known. From vivid and lucid dreams to feeling transformed and more connected to nature, etc…too hard to explain, but I decided to spend some time in thought after our guest had left.
The most obvious connections, initially, were with our rv lifestyle:
- Carries his home on his back
- Can go inside at will and shut off the external noise/outside world
- Can stay as long as he wants in one place before moving on
- Exposed to the elements – more vulnerable at times
- Can go wherever he chooses
But because of other things that have been happening this year, in addition to having a very challenging day the exact day the turtle came to visit, Jim and I continued digging for even more meaning…so we took in all we could about this little guy and were amazed at what we found. I wrote an article about the great brown bear being my totem since I was a little child, which you can read HERE. So why not learn about what people believe turtles symbolize in nature? It wasn’t just his external features that we shared in common, we discovered it was what he could teach us on the inside.
As many of our readers know, we have encountered tremendous challenges this past year. It isn’t because we are in an rv – not at all – we are grateful we are in our little “shell” as we navigate the obstacle course our life has become. What has happened would have taken place in a house of brick or one on wheels. But sometimes, as most everyone knows, it can all pile up. The day the turtle visited had been one of those days.
Here is what we feel he symbolized and how it helped with what we had been feeling:
- Slow and steady pace – We have to be displaced from our home turf this year, spending most of our time in Illinois until things settle. Sometimes we want the calendar to hurry up, so we can recharge in the beauty of the mountains we miss. We were feeling antsy and a bit hopeless that day – as if we’d never see Glacier again. The turtle taught us to slow down and keep moving…that we will get to our end destination someday.
- Patient – As with being slow and steady, we needed a big lesson in patience as well. Get back to living in the moment.
- Going within – We needed to stop and look inside to get our bearings straight once more.
- Powerful female energy, motherhood and Mother Earth – The turtle has long been thought to symbolize the earth and that she will care for you if you care for her. The female, maternal symbol was important because I had felt a deep longing for my mother that particular day.
So we like to think that our turtle guest was much more than just an object for us to take a photo of…for our amusement. If every living thing is connected, as we believe, then our visitor came to our rv door with a purpose…and it was our job to welcome him and listen to his message.
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