Not too long ago I read a story about the “Joy of Turtles” by Joni Woelfel. In it she told the story of finding a mother turtle who had laid eggs in her flower bed. The turtle deposited her eggs after digging a deep hole, carefully covering them so no trace could be found, and then within an hour she was gone. Joni became the vigil keeper, learned all she could about the turtles, and then watched as time passed. She had learned that it takes 72-80 days for the eggs to hatch, and when they didn’t, she became quite disheartened. However, on Day 81, to her surprise, she saw the dirt gently move, and low and behold, seven baby turtles emerged. She was ecstatic! Her lesson, of course, was how this new birth was a sign of living hope, reminding her to have faith and to believe in grace.
In this past week I witnessed the daffodils in our yard come to full bloom. I had been watching them sprout the green leaves for weeks, and then all of a sudden, one morning, there they were, bright yellow daffodils crying out that spring is here! New life had risen. It really brought joy and hope to my own heart!
In these times of the coronavirus pandemic I am sure many of us have been looking for signs of hope for our future. Each of us has had to let go of some independence, of some freedoms. My friend in a supportive living facility cannot leave her apartment. After days of this lockdown she is feeling cooped up and lonely. While I talk with her by phone each day, it is not the same as personal presence. I have tried to comfort her by sharing stories such as the turtle one with her. That even though we aren’t physically together, we are united in spirit, in prayer, in God’s love for each of us and in the blessing of friendship.
We are all in this together is a phrase I hear often now. And we most certainly are! We are on a sacred journey, and we have been given the time to ponder it, to see how life is full of messages of hope. To witness the kindness of neighbors checking in on others, people delighting in simple pleasures of walking, reading, even cleaning out long awaited home projects; this has become our journey now. We may feel a sense of confinement, some may even feel trapped, yet, with the eyes of our soul and the ears of our heart, we know that our Provident God is there–a very real Presence in our lives. So let the turtles and the daffodils fill your heart with the miracles of nature and look for providential signs when you least expect!
Barbara McMullen, CDP