I think I am a turtle.

When I was a little turtle, I had a soft shell and I was determined as hell to make a run for it, down the beach and into the water.

There were many other little turtles with me and we were all different.  Each of us ran towards our lives with varying levels of success.

But my awkward little legs went as fast as they could; and I made it!

As soon as I hit the water and swam in the big blue ocean, all on my own, I started to grow.

As I grew, my shell grew with me.

A shell is a good thing.

It is a place where I can retreat.

I can even sleep in there.

Or, sometimes, it just feels reassuring knowing I always have my own “back.”

Predators cannot penetrate my shell.  They can try, but now that I am big, they can’t get under there.

Besides, I know how to hide; how to blend in to my environment: sometimes I look just like a rock.

Other times I float along in the current and look lifeless.

But, I am not lifeless.

And to be honest, floating has never been easy for me.  I always feel like I should be going somewhere.

In fact, I am going somewhere.

I am now an adult turtle and I am making my yearly journey home.

I have to go there each year to stay in touch with the place I came from and to lay my slippery eggs.

Then, new lives  can begin.

When they make it to the ocean, I will swim alongside them and tell them of all the things I have learned:

I will teach them to float and to hide and to find abundance in our beautiful blue home.

And I will show them my big, grown up shell.

And, if I am very, very honest, I will tell them something more:

Sometimes things do get under that shell that I wish wouldn’t.

I get barnacles and free loaders on my back.

They see a firm foundation and latch on for the ride.

Some of them are even parasitic and try to make me sick.

But, no.

I won’t let them stay.

I will evict them one by one and then lay up on a log… all in a row with my friends….

Soaking up the sun.