To paraphrase John Hiatt: whether your glasses are off or on, you only see the world you make.
If you meet the snapping turtle in the road call the turtle man. Unfortunately the turtle man lives in Kentucky so you might have to figure something out for yourself. Based on today’s experience, I strongly suggest you do not try to pick him up.
I’ve saved many turtles in my day by gently moving them across the road in the direction they were traveling, so I thought: why is this day different than any other day? And as he went to bite off my hand I realized that snapping turtles have a bit of an attitude.
When I first saw him I wasn’t even sure it was a turtle it looked so strange. So I got out to confirm this and ran back for my camera. After a few quick shots I decided to save him from becoming a paperweight, but I guess he wasn’t thinking that far ahead and resisted. Then I got my other camera.
Several drivers slowed to look at the turtle and the photographer in the middle of the road, some gave advice and some made jokes. But it only takes one person driving while on their phone to run us both over so I nudged him across.
Park rangers showed up and after a brief discussion everyone felt he was fine where he was, safely on the other side of the road in the wet grass. I was the only one that knew he was actually headed up the hill, possibly for a Slurpee, but he’s an adult and has to play the hand he’s dealt. Fortunately it wasn’t mine.
Like everyone, I want things to be different than they are. Today I wanted it to be sunny and warm, and I wanted this flower to be sitting pretty wherever it came from.
I also want money, motorcycles, cars and houses. And I want to live forever, but that probably won’t happen.
Alrighty then, when that day comes I’ll go to the bank, pick up a new pickup (must be white) and hop on a new Honda Africa Twin to look for a house on a lake. I just hope it won’t be raining.
I found these in a local park and they seem to be in their prime, but in a few weeks they will be gone forever-dust to dust. Maybe it’s the fact that I’m getting older or maybe I just notice it more, but things seem to move a lot faster now.
Watching the flowers come and go is also watching the days speed by, and I know I’m running out of time. Of course this is how life works; we’re here for a while and then we’re gone. And whether we acknowledge it or not, suffering comes from wanting things to be different than they are.
W. Somerset Maugham, author of The Razor’s Edge has a great perspective on impermanence: “Nothing in the world is permanent, and we’re foolish when we ask anything to last, but surely we’re still more foolish not to take delight in it while we have it.”
Along the way, take time to smell the flowers, in as many ways as you can for as long as you can.
“Be careful what you water your dreams with. Water them with worry and fear and you will produce weeds that choke the life from your dream. Water them with optimism and solutions and you will cultivate success.
Always be on the lookout for ways to turn a problem into an opportunity for success. Always be on the lookout for ways to nurture your dream.” Lao Tzu
It happens at almost the same time each year here in Lancaster, one day it’s sunny and warm enough for the beach, and the next day it’s almost too cold to stand outside and fill your gas tank.
Recently, after weeks of record setting warmth, we had a cold snap with temperatures well below freezing. Although all I had to do was wear an extra sweatshirt, many plants, trees and flowers took a beating.
Some managed to hold on while others were not so fortunate. For them, it’s the end of the road. The ones that made it, the lucky ones, know that many of their friends are gone, and they seem depressed.
But this is nature, survival of the fittest and all that. Lions eat gazelles, giant tuna end up in cans, and photographers remember that it’s hard to adjust camera settings with frozen fingers.
Geraldo Rivera, best know for opening Al Capone’s vault, said: “Mother Nature may be forgiving this year, or next year, but eventually she’s going to come around and whack you. You’ve got to be prepared.” Touché.