#18 My Re-enchantment story


Terry’s photo from yesterday of a large snapping turtle.

My re-birthday. Not my birthday marking the day my mom pushed me out and I took my first breaths. But a year since my heart surgery marked not just a transition but a new beginning. Which somehow it did. Terry asked first thing this morning, what, after a year, this has meant. She added that she feels that I’m a bit more ‘dreamy’. This makes sense. While for the past few years I’ve felt the presence of my ‘inner’ life, whatever membrane existed between it and my outer life has now all but disappeared. In April, my surgical team sent a six-month survey of multiple-choice questions post-surgery, to get a sense of how I felt. The most important question was “if you knew that how you feel today would be the best you would feel for the rest of your life, would that be Great, Ok, not great, bad?” I marked “OK”. Today, if asked the same question, I’d mark, ‘great.’ But also ‘grateful’.

Driving through Acadia late yesterday, we came up a hill and noticed cars pulled over. Something was in the road. We first thought a beaver or otter had been hit. Getting closer, it was a giant snapping turtle. Knowing how vicious a snapping turtle can be, we got as close as we could and still feel safe. It didn’t move. Other than having retracted its right front leg, it didn’t seem injured. As we had a rental car, I had no shovel or blanket to help move it off of the road. Terry called 911 and was transferred to the Park Service. As I crouched in front of it and we, the snapping turtle and I, looked at each other. She (we believe that she was looking for a place to lay her eggs) followed me with her eyes. I asked her what we should do, still thinking that she might be injured. While Terry talked to the Park Service, the turtle stood up, made a sharp left turn and moved quickly toward the water. She seemed a bit unsteady, but made her way to the edge of the road and down the trail of bent grass she’d made earlier, disappearing into the water. There are no coincidences, only synchronicities. Not for a second did I think that finding that snapping turtle in the middle of the road was a random event.