Maybe it’s a good year for turtles. Maybe there is plenty of food so more survive to cross the roads and fields looking for a place to lay their eggs.
I’ve heard from a few people that they’ve taken notice of turtles this summer in a way they haven’t before. As if there is a message for us humans in their travel, that we are only seeing now.
I know people who rescue sea turtles. Once I was driving on the NYS Thruway and a State Trooper stopped traffic so a very large and old snapping turtle could cross the six-lane highway. Another time I watch two snapping turtles as long as Fate pull their extremities into their shells and roll down a hillside. At the bottom, they righted themselves and slowly disappeared into the lagoon on the edge of the lake.
I was thinking of the painted turtle that Bud was trying to get to by digging under the fence, when I made the turtle on this pillow. Luckily I heard his measured barks and was able to put the turtle in a safe place closer to her destination.
Her head, legs and tail were already inside her shell when I picked that turtle up. And as I carried her I got to feel the smooth, cool texture of the hard surface under her. I was able to get a long, close look at the marking of her deep green shell.
I took some liberties when I made my turtle. I gave her a spiral on her shell and didn’t count her toes.
I loved painting, then stitching her on my sewing machine. The hard architecture of her shell and her vulnerable head, feet, and tail.
What is the symbolic meaning of the turtle to me? I haven’t gotten there yet.
I’m still busy marveling at those elegant lines on the top and bottom of her shell. At all the many shades of green, yellow, red and orange of her skin. At the long curved nails on her feet. And the way she pulls her head into her shell, the wrinkles encircling her pointy face.
This pillow is sold, but I can see myself making more. Or maybe some potholders. Perhaps she’ll show up in a fabric painting.
I enjoy making my turtles too much to stop now.