Good News for a Sea Turtle and for Us

Associated Press photo
The Record April 10, 2009

Good news is hard to come by. As the world grinds through the current economic crisis, it gets even tougher. I rarely pick up a newspaper any more and only keep our subscription because Ken likes to read it. I pick up whatever I might need or want to know from the internet or the radio on the way to work and find I do better without a force-feed of “we have yet to hit bottom of the economic downturn,” “unemployment rate hits the worse since 19___,” or “ (fill in the blank with your favorite politician) goes to jail for money laundering,” or whatever.

We have a plethora of electronic gadgets to stay current, we have advanced in communication devices and techniques, but our mental and emotional abilities to adapt to the reality of wars and assassinations, hurricanes and tsunamis in real time is based upon the same biological rules of adaptation that caused us to climb out of the primordial soup. In other words, we are not always so good at being able to handle the constant influx of world events. Some people shut down emotionally. Others explode and do harm to themselves or others. I stopped reading the newspaper.

From time to time, Ken pulls a page out of the paper and says, “Here: Read this.” Today, it was a story about a disabled green sea turtle that arrived at Sea Turtle Inc. in South Padre Island, Texas in 2005. They think 5-year old “Allison,” lost a flipper to a shark attack. Despite the severity of her injuries, she managed to survive but faced a lifetime (approximately 150 years) of swimming in circles with only one flipper.

But Tom Wilson, an intern, came up with an idea to fit Allison with a neoprene wetsuit outfitted with a carbon-fiber dorsal fin that functions like a rudder so she can navigate normally through her wet world. The article said, “…watchers wept the first time Allison dived to feed at the salad bar of waving Romaine lettuce.”

There is more good news here than Allison’s ability to swim straight. What is most heartening to me is the spirit of individuals like Tom Wilson, who used his creative mind not to destroy another chunk of the planet, but to help an innocent creature live normally. I am connected to the watchers who wept because of a sea turtle. One small thing has been righted in a world full of wrongs. Learning that a captive sea turtle can graze among lettuce beds will not change my life, but knowing what the human spirit can reach for and create is enough to get me out of bed in the morning.

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3 Responses to Good News for a Sea Turtle and for Us

  1. I feel the same way you do, I don’t read the papers anymore either. The older I get, it seems the more depressed I get with the state of the world. It is heartening to see that someone took the time to help Allison the sea turtle. There really are good people out there, I guess the bad ones make the news most often. Wouldn’t it be nice if they made the news more often and inspired more of us to be like them. Great story.

  2. RevMomVt says:

    Nice post—I have been trying a new personal discipline in looking for the little gifts of “Godly Play” throughout the day…the tiny flowers growing in the grass; the song the touches something in my heart; the uplifting reflection by a beloved sister!

  3. Sparverius says:

    I enjoyed this post. Thank you for sharing.

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