This morning, as I sat outside for my daily nature meditation I was delighted to be joined by one of our resident box turtles. This is a wild turtle that happens to call our yard home, and it's always such a treat to see her being her wild self. The only way to even know she was there was to hear the slight rustling in the dew-covered plants. Then I saw her head pop out from under some lily leaves.
She was feasting on tiny snails for breakfast! She would collect them with her tongue and crunch away. It took me a moment to figure out what she was eating - I could hear the crunching and at first I wondered, "Is she eating some kind of seed?" I kept watching and finally figured it out. Click on the link below to watch a short video of her gathering her breakfast - if you turn up the volume you can hear the tiny crunches!
Once I wrote a blog post, "Have you Fed your Snail?" It was about taking time in nature to notice the tiniest things. Today's could be called "Has your snail fed you?" at least from the turtle's point of view. Turtles and snails, they come to me regularly to remind me of what's important.
It's all connected. The turtle and snails and I are sharing more than the yard. We are breathing the same air, some of which has blown from thousands of miles away. We're relying on the trees and grass around us to put oxygen back into that air. In countless other ways we are all reliant on each other.
I think about that so much, especially as we humans have such an appetite for so many of Earth's resources. I've been paying attention for a long time, and consciously trying to make decisions that lighten my load on the planet, but there is so much to consider. Even loading this little turtle video requires it now to be stored (forever?) on some server that belongs to YouTube, sucking up electricity - I've read that it won't be long before 20 percent of the world's electricity could be used for data retention. That's a lot.
This month is plastic-free July. Today at the dentist (no cavities, yay!) I took the toothbrush and toothpaste samples and gave back the little plastic pencil case that they came in so they can refill it with samples for someone else. It's the smallest thing; there's so much more to do.
It's all connected. I just read about a Fox who walked thousands of miles, from Norway to Canada. I want her to have the chance to live a good life and raise her own family. I want that for all the living beings who share the planet.
We have to figure out how to live in a world that is changing quickly. We have to figure out how to live in accordance with our values. I find that often when clients come to me most distressed, it's because their daily lives have grown distant from what they most believe in.
The same thing can happen to me, and I need to return over and over to what is most aligned. I'm simplifying my summer and setting intentions for walking lots of places, using the library to get my books (I was lucky enough to get a copy of City of Girls - just sitting there on the new release shelf - how serendipitous), feasting on much local food (especially peaches and blueberries), and sitting in nature a lot, whether it's in the front yard with the turtle and snails, or camping out under the stars for multiple nights.