Friday, March 14, 2008

sea turtles and interstate 15

This is also posted on fMh.

I saw my first "body" tonight.
As I sat in the passenger seat of my little sedan, I saw a white sheet covering the distinct outline of a male body. First his hips, then his arms and lastly his head. Left uncovered, was a right leg and and shoe-less foot; the sock, halfway off.
My heart sank.

I quickly scan the scene expecting to find the mangled evidence of death but I didn't see one. There was nothing but flashing lights and fire trucks, police and witnesses talking, but still no car, just a lone body on the cold asphalt with no one tending to it.
My heart sank further.

At that moment, I am reminded of how I feel when I'm driving alone on the interstate:

Like a baby loggerhead turtle trying to get off the beach, trying to make it into the surf knowing predators are all around waiting to devour her soft defenseless two inch body. There’s no strategic planning, no tactic employed-for her its just a numbers game and a race against the clock that gets her into the surf and eventually into the ocean, where again, another battle to survive awaits.

I'm that baby turtle, all two inches of me, heading west bound on the interstate towards home. I can’t see my predator coming, but I know he is there, lurking. Is he in the form of an oncoming SUV? Or is he a patch of ice? Perhaps he's a semi-truck that’s lost control? I don't know.
I don't know when he will come to devour my little car and I will be no more.

I realized in that moment when I saw that man's body, covered and alone on the ground, that he _is_ somebody's father. He _is_somebody’s son. He _is_ somebody's husband whose wife is waiting for him to come home. She is waiting for his call to say he is running later than expected; tonight he will not call but the phone will ring and I am left with great sadness for the remainder of the drive.

So here I am, sitting in my room. The warm acute consciousness I experienced 15 minutes ago vanished when I entered the doorway to my house-the smell of home providing the safety of retreat. I realize that we humans, despite our weak and feeble bodies, have something on those little turtles; we live with the hope that we will overcome the odds and make it another day.


  1. "personally, i wouldn’t feel a need to exist without the knowledge that my family is more than just some biological function designed to keep my species alive."

    I don't know that I think about it that way everyday. My love for my family may be purely biological, but that's not how I look at all the time. Most of the time, I don't question it. I love my family--because God created me to, because evolution deemed it necessary. I don't know which one it is, but I do know that I love my family and so I keep going for them. The reasons aren't relevant anymore. I still want to do great things for humanity--regardless of whether or not I get recognition for it later. If this life is all we have, then I think we deserve to live it well. I don't think agnosticism should be an excuse for poor behavior (I can see why some may use it that way, but I don't feel a need to do that).

    Anyway, just wanted to clarify for you :-).

  2. WOW...thats all i can say is WOW. this is really good. WOW...

  3. anonymous,

    do i know you? how did you find my blog?

    thank you for the compliment.


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