Wednesday, May 5, 2010

The Universal World Turtle

Here's wishing you all a belated Earth Day !
In the days since my last post, I was completely absorbed in an Earth Day project (a slide show presentation of nature photos that Jackie and I did together,  on the day after Earth Day.) It was lots of fun, and perhaps more of those shows are in the future.
But as the saying used to go, Earth Day = Every Day ...
so here's a little something, written not in 1970,
but way back in 1854 by our old friend Henry Thoreau, on a day when he found a turtle nest :

I am affected by the thought that the earth nurses these eggs.

They are planted in the earth, and the earth takes care of them;
she is genial to them and does not kill them.
It suggests a certain vitality and intelligence in the earth,
which I had not realized.

This mother is not merely inanimate and inorganic.

Though the immediate mother turtle abandons her offspring,
the earth and sun are kind to them.
The old turtle on which the earth rests
takes care of them

while the other waddles off.

Earth was not made poisonous and deadly to them.
The earth has some virtue in it;
when seeds are put into it, they germinate;
when turtles' eggs, they hatch in due time.

Though the mother turtle remained and brooded them,
it would still nevertheless be the universal world turtle

which, through her,
cared for them as now.
Thus the earth is the mother of all creatures.


  1. That's pretty profound. Thanks for sharing!

  2. What can I say? This post is so beautiful and moving, it's hard to express the delight I felt in reading it. Great work, Sue, you turtle lover, you!