So yesterday, I blogged about the fact that my husband and I were fortunate enough to bear witness to a green sea turtle feeding in the bay next to our ocean front condo here in Kona. This morning, I managed to snap this photo of him/her or a look-alike (we’re not sure) resting and eating the seaweed on the lava rocks below. Now, I can honestly say that I have not taken much interest in turtles before yesterday, simply because I haven’t ever seen one up close, nor have I ever thought that I would because I am not an underwater kinda person; though it is somewhat ironic that I seem to be around it or drawn to it often. But, upon first sighting of our turtle friend, I began contemplating what life would be like for him/her. I actually commented to my husband that life as turtle must be very lonely. And, in fact, upon some brief research (assuming our internet sources are true–sketchy, I know), it seems to confirm that most sea turtles are solitary creatures minus courtship and mating. Interesting, isn’t it?! Being a contemplative person, I began to think more seriously about the true implications of living life alone, like our visiting sea turtle. Alone, but in charge of your own destiny. Kinda like us in some ways, but also different. Well, maybe.
I can’t honestly say whether living one’s life in complete Autonomy would be a good thing or a bad thing. I mean, there have been periods in my own life where I would say I’ve lived somewhat autonomously, but never truly alone. I’ve always had family and friends around, even while single for awhile. Having been on my own, so to speak, I can see how in some ways there are clear and obvious advantages, such as doing your own thing on your own time, and I have to admit, that can be a pretty darn freeing experience. On the other hand, however, being truly alone can be very lonely in that you don’t have someone to share life’s ups and downs with. I wonder how it works for the turtle. Clearly, he/she doesn’t know any different, but if it did know, would it choose to be with others, if it could?! It gets you thinking, doesn’t it? And, it gets me thinking about us as people with the world becoming more and more connected to technology and less and less connected with each other. Hmmm…
As a turtle, you’d spend your whole life, mostly submerged in the water, travelling and feeding, resting every now and again. Now, it just so happens that all three of those things (travelling, resting and feeding) appeal to most of us, myself included:-), but to spend your WHOLE life like that?! By yourself. Gee…I don’t know. Yesterday, I viewed many of the ‘Island’ entries for the Daily Prompt, and I found that many people commented similarly quoting the phrase, “No man is an island”, and spoke of their own rather lonely interpretations of it. Or their own personal need for escape. But, is it the need to escape others, or is it the need to escape the busy lives that we have created for ourselves. Or is it both?! Or, maybe my interpretations of others’ interpretations was/is wrong. (See how complicated my mind gets…anyway…)
Maybe the turtle has it made after all in that its only worries are keeping safe from its few predators, finding the next meal and mating to perpetuate its species? It doesn’t have to worry about taxes, a job, finances, raising its children, war, racism, etc. Having said that, it also doesn’t have the opportunity to race home (nice pun for a turtle, eh?) to share in a day’s victory, cry on someone’s shoulder when life gets it down, celebrate special milestones together, hug, kiss, surprise a loved one, etc. Is it a trade-off? Is one life better than the other? I would venture to say, probably not. Just different. You know, the way we all are. And, maybe I shouldn’t jump to conclusions that the turtle feels lonely. Maybe he’s/she’s just happy being a turtle.