Tuesday, September 15, 2009

The Moving Rock

Block #14, 6" square
© 2009 Fannie Narte

Block No. 14 out of 45 for my Christmas Scrap Quilt.

Block 14 is probably a star variation, and it points to the north, south, east and west. It makes me think of "direction." Where am I today? How did I get here? Where am I headed? How do I get there?


My husband recently recounted a story about an incident that happened on his way to work. He was traveling down a street and approaching a main street that was under construction to increase lanes in both directions. Almost immediately after making a left turn at a four-way stop, he noticed a large rock moving slowly across his lane traveling from east to west. Since he was the only car on the road at that time, he slowly drove towards the moving rock and came to a complete stop because the rock was blocking his path of travel. My husband observed this moving rock, while this moving rock observed my husband.

My husband realized this rock was a turtle probably at the same time this turtle realized my husband's car was a big moving gray monster with the strength to transform turtles into pancakes.

The next thing that happened is the interesting part of this story. My husband waited for the turtle to cross the lane. However, instead of continuing to cross the road, the turtle stared at the monster and abruptly slipped his head inside his shell, leaving his hands and feet exposed.


What was this turtle thinking? We could laugh and say that "that was not a smart move."

I imagine the turtle might have experienced fear and instinctively covered its eyes, so to speak.

What would you do if you were the turtle? We could probably have a lively discussion about the possible answers to that question.


In order to know what the turtle may have been thinking or feeling, we would have to see things from his or her perspective based on his or her life's experiences. I'll name our turtle "Wit" for the ease of telling this story.


Wit may have thought, "I'm not fast enough to cross the street before the monster reaches me." So he went to a safe place inside his shell. Wit may have responded instinctively, but was that the best solution? The reality is that although he is safe inside his shell, he was still in danger.


Another possibility is that Wit could have faced the danger and continued his slow trek across the road hoping that somehow he would magically be spared.


But Wit was a smart turtle. After a few seconds, he peeked out of his shell and saw that the big gray monster had stopped. He was no longer in danger. Sniffing the air as if he could smell "safety," he slowly continued his trek across the road and safely reached the other side without incident.


Is Wit's story about fear? Is it about courage? Is it about instinct? Is it about direction? Is it about choices?

I think Wit's story is about all of the above and also about wisdom. I like to think he behaved instinctively when he retrieved inside his shell. Then he emerged from his hiding place to assess his next move. After determining that although the monster was still there, and not in present danger, he decided to journey forward.


How often do we turn inside when faced with fear or challenges? Some of us may turn inside to pray, to seek guidance, to think, to meditate, to analyze, to assess our situation and determine our next move. After the thinking, studying and decisionmaking, we move forward. Although our fears are still present, with courage on our wings, we boldly move upward and forward anyway. Just like Wit, we leave our fears behind, and we journey forward. Like Wit, when we reach the other side, with a heavy sigh of relief, we celebrate.

Conquering fears are not as simple in real life, but Wit's story does leave us with ideas of courage, hope and wisdom. Olympians, parents, teachers, children, doctors, journalists, entertainers, artists, writers . . . we all face our fears and challenges with courage and hope for success.

Now everytime I pass that construction site, I think about Wit and courage, and wings of hope, and hard work, and study, and determination and success.

Do you have a Wit-ty story? I imagine you do.

I offer you friendship, wings of hope to move in an upward and forward direction, and wishes for success,


Joyfulsister said...

Amen Sistah,
What a wonderful story and analogy.. Knowing me I would have taken the turtle home lol. Your blocks are turning out so beautiful.

Luv *U*

Kelly said...

Wit sounds like my kinda turtle. I am famous around these parts for stopping my car in the middle of the road to help a scared frozen turtle get to the other side of the road. :-)