Hatching a New Year

January 18, 2012

These first weeks of 2012 have been true madness – even just 19 days into this new trip around the sun, there are so many adventures to look forward to, challenges to face, surprises to enjoy. Places to go, people to see, things to do. This is a delightful charge, but the details can be mindboggling. And so, whenever I have a bit of quiet, I try to imagine I’m still standing on the beach on New Year’s Eve Eve.

As the sun set on this day, we found ourselves standing on a secluded shoreline, shades of magenta, vermillion, cerulean and violet swirling above our heads, perfectly shaped waves of grey crashing off shore, and with tiny, newly hatched Olive Ridley Turtles shuffling their way down the sand around us, and into Big Blue.

We came upon one at first – then two. Then a train of turtles paraded past us until we found the nest, and then another, and then another. Literally thousands of baby turtles hatching right before our eyes, and then bravely, boldly starting life anew.

I cannot recall feeling so privileged to be in one place at one exact time. I found myself thinking of all the other “big” things that must be going on as the planet spun, and realized that, in this moment, this was THE most important thing. Sweet mystery of life, and everything exists in a tiny grain of sand!

It was one of the most overwhelming epiphanies of my tiny life to this point.

Not every day is filled with thousands of miraculous sea turtle babies, textbook sunsets, or romantic notions of the entire universe wrapped up in the grains of sand shuffled by the waves crashing on a secluded beach. And, not every day is filled with the awe that goes along with observing these things. But, there should be a whole lot more of them that are.

It is so easy to get caught up in the details that make up our modern lives, and diluted authenticity isn’t authenticity at all. So, right then and there, on the sand, I resolved to fill this life with more tickled-pink, jaw-agape, dumb-struck awesome, wildly humbling moments. To seek out the shuffling baby turtle within, who bravely puffs up her chest and opens her fate to the crashing waves and circling buzzards, who follows the path that instinctively calls. And to seek out the awe-struck onlooker too – the woman that stands in the sand, barefoot, speechless and astounded by the tiny things happening before her eyes and all around, in the moment at hand.

Not quite the same as if I had dedicated myself to, say, calling my mother more often, or eating fewer cookies. But, it does seem like a good sentiment to carry into a new year. And oh, what an amazing year it will be!

Derek took an amazing video of the occasion. Click the link below (or watch the YouTube video) to have a turtle epiphany of your own.

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