Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Turtle time

I'm sitting on the stoop tapping away on my laptop. Once in a while I'll hear a car. There's one coming down the Burgess side-road right now.

Most of the time all I hear is the birds. Frogs too. A mourning dove has been particularly vocal this evening. Probably a pair of them, talking back and forth. Various hummingbirds visit the feeder hanging over my head. A pair of sandhill cranes sound pissed off and fly away.

What you never hear is turtles. You sometimes get to see them though. Here at Falling Downs it's turtle time, when the mamma turtles come out of the marsh to lay their eggs in the gravel shoulder of the road.

This morning when I walked the hounds there were three in a row on the south shoulder of the road. Tonight the raccoons will dig up what they can. Only once have I met a newborn - about the size of a toonie and completely soft to the touch. The birds must have a field-day with them.

Picked up a book today that I've had lying on the kitchen table for a few weeks. The Farm Manager's dear mother lent it to me; Elizabeth Bettina's It Happened in Italy: The Untold Story of how the People of Italy Defied the Horrors of the Holocaust.

It's quite the story. Lots of Italian Catholics chose not to say something when they saw something during the Nazi era, often at considerable risk to their own well-being. As a result many Jewish lives were saved. At a time when Canada closed her borders to Jewish refugees fleeing the Nazis, they could still get into Italy without a visa.

I want to believe that there are many people of all faiths who would chose not to rat out the vulnerable in their midst. In fact, I think it's an innately human drive to help your fellow humans, but it's become ensnared in the miasma of contemporary me-firstism.

Heard a news story a year or two ago about the funeral of a much loved priest who worked most of his career in indigenous communities in Saskatchewan. Ya right! A much loved priest on a native reservation? Get outta here! But no, dozens of car-loads of folks from those reservations drove hours to pay their respects. He must have been one of those people who still had that inner light that drove him to do good rather than ill, a light we well know was not universally shared among his kind.

As we all know whenever we open a paper or turn on the news, it's a fucked up world. There are pressures on all sides that push us into being nasty rather than kind. We don't have to go that way.

My neighbour has a theory about those three mamma turtles. She figures they've got a Moms Support Group happening. Hey girls, let's climb that embankment and lay those eggs! Then we can go for lunch...

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