I’ve had a thing about turtles lately.
Maybe because progress seems so slow and the last few weeks have been the kind of weeks where you really have to consciously look for the blessings and the beauty of simple things.
Sending out manuscripts and waiting for a response feels like an obnoxious grain of sand has clogged up the bottle-neck part of my hour-glass shaped egg timer.
In less than hopeful moments, when this cough has lingered for far too long and night-time cold medicine taken during the day leaves me energy-less and bedridden, I am convinced the wicked witch of the west is laughing maniacally while I am laid out, on a limb, dodging flying monkeys.
Just when the sun starts to peek out from behind the dark ominous clouds, the wind shifts and more gray settles over situations I have no control over. I respond like a turtle, pulling my head back in, under the hard shell.
But, hey. It’s Monday, it’s a new week and I will not be sucked into the vortex of despair. I had a beautiful Sunday and love Mondays, new mornings and make-up days. Determined to unslump myself, I took an extra long walk that meandered the dogs and me through downtown Boerne and along the quietly joyous paths of Cibolo Creek yesterday.
My daughter came home from college on Friday, made the best guacamole on the planet, got me addicted to the Mexican Train game and then left the next day. I made crepes for breakfast and thanked God quietly over my cutting board while I sliced strawberries. Two years into this empty nest thing, I should be less of a crybaby, but I’m not.
Every time one of my girls backs out of the driveway I want more time, more Mondays and more do-over days with fancy breakfasts and important talks.
I wish I would have listened more to my mentors who reminded me how quickly they grow up back when life was overwhelming, busy and I just craved an activity slow-down.
Now it seems like the days inch by at a turtle’s pace and I have to turn on the Olympics to watch the snowboarders and bobsledders to remember what speed looks like and that just like some runs are better than others, it is the same with our days.
Good and bad.
Better and best.
I woke up this morning, thinking of my long and wonderful walk and remembered the beautiful red berry bush we passed on John’s Road where I made a mental note of more pecan trees that need the attention of a pie-making clean-up crew.
There was the couple with a smiling special needs son who I encouraged to pet the dogs and another family who stopped to talk for several minutes about family and dogs and Mr. Riley’s horrible lump that Natalie’s boyfriend insists we glue googly-eyes to.
I met a couple from San Antonio at the Cibolo Brewing Company who were celebrating National Wine Day and I explained I forced myself out of the recliner to stop whining.
They have a shelter dog that looks just like my pretty Charlie and next I met a woman from Oregon who also skipped church and slept in. She shared with me about losing two of her children to cystic fibrosis, then in the next sentence told me about their exchange student who taught them the fine art of Japanese stir-fry.
We will be friends.
We met at the turtle line-up on the creek.
Everywhere I have gone for the last several weeks, I see turtles. Maybe it’s divine confirmation that sometimes we just need to take things slow.
And some days, we just need to stick together.