Sunday, July 27, 2008

Is It Real Or Is It A Bad Dream?

Sometimes the stars in the heavens align and there are strange intersections of thoughts and images. So was the case this morning.

Here is the background. My younger child has been in Cozumel, Mexico for nearly a week on a mission trip with our church's youth group. Most such trips are geared towards humanitarian aid. This one, however, is focused on environmental issues. They have cleaned up beaches, helped build for the local SPCA and, the highlight of the trip, rescued sea turtles. (I hope to post some pictures from her trip when she gets home tomorrow.) The kids have been sharing their adventures through daily blog posts. I, like most of the parents, have been reading faithfully and turtles are on my mind.

Here is another piece of necessary information. Contrary to what my pantry fridge looks like, we are not big drinkers around here. Because my house is often the locus for informal gatherings to which people bring their favorite spirits and neglect to take them home with them, there is no shortage of alcohol around here. Rarely do I indulge, but last night I did. Because I don't drink very often, it doesn't take much to do me in. Suffice it to say that I had several cans of beer and I was not anxious to get up this morning.

The important information here is turtles in Mexico and not being terribly coherent early this morning.

The dogs wanted to go out a little before 8:00. I figured they would run around for a while and then scratch to come in. That always wakes me up so I went back to bed once I had let them out. But, it was not the dogs wanting in that woke me up. I had this sense that someone was looking at me. I rolled over and sure enough looming over me was my older daughter, who appeared to have a turtle in her hands. For a brief moment, I thought I was dreaming until she said, "Mama, I rescued a turtle!" Sure enough, the rescued turtle was now looking me in my bleary eyes. Once i realized that this was not a dream, I became fully engaged in this turtle's plight.

Seemingly, Brooke heard a funny noise outside. It turned out to be the dogs, two of ours and the neighbor dog who thinks he lives here, playing Keep Away or some other canine playground game with a turtle. It is not uncommon for the dogs to fetch empty turtle shells from the pond, so Brooke assumed that this too was an uninhabited shell. When she removed it from the dog's mouth, she saw moving legs and turtle eyes, which I must say were much more alert than mine. For some reason, she left the dogs outside and brought the turtle inside to consult with me about what to do with him . . .or possible her. (I'm not sure how to tell with a turtle.) All three dogs were waiting on the deck for Brooke to return to them their morning catch. That was not going to happen.

I let the dogs in one door and she and the turtle went out another, headed for a place of turtle respite, the pond. In the time that Brooke was gone, the dogs settled down and went back to sleep as did I. I'm not sure how long I had been asleep when Brooke again waked me to tell of all her experiences while shepherding the turtle to safety.

She told me about the sounds of many unhappy cows. The cow noises were accompanied by howling so I suspect a pack of coyotes was looking for a Big Mac for breakfast. She also found a partially gnawed on femur, which she assumed was from a previous cow. Then there was the tree frog that hopped across her path. I guess that while living in the big city of Chicago she had forgotten all the wonders of country life. This morning was a reminder. The ironic thing here is that it is usually me who is up early and her that doesn't realize that the morning has hours that are followed by "AM".

All in all, this was a strange picture of happenstance.