The other day en route to work I listened to an NPR interview with a Chinese man about his experience as a “Sea Turtle.” In China this metaphor refers to someone who leaves their country and family to travel overseas and then eventually returns. Compatriots who never left will test the returned ‘sea turtle’ to see how s/he has been changed by their exposure to foreign ways ‘across the waters’. Will they still be loyal and faithful to their own kith and kin?
I like this metaphor, which can have other layers as well as the Chinese associations. The initial journey of the infant sea turtle is fraught with danger and hazards, as only one percent of a group of up to 600 or so hatchlings will even survive the crossing of the beach to reach the Ocean. When the mother sea turtle does return to build her nest and deposit her eggs, it is after from 20-50 years living alone, depending on the species, before reaching sexual maturity and mating.
The mother sea turtle’s voyage brings her full circle, back to her exact beach of origin. One internet author remarks that the home beach of the sea turtle is “where the magnetic heart is.” Does she return to where she was a rare survivor in evolutionary hopes that her hatchlings might fare as well as she did?
The Sea Turtle is a metaphor that applies to my own coming ordeals and adventure as I am set to retire in seven months and I will be returning ‘Back East’ to the conditions I was born to, after nearly forty years ‘Out West.’ I return to bring back lessons and insights from all that I have learned, and will spawn services connected to my book about Life Path Mapping that comes out in March (Your Life Path, see right panel), and to complete additional books in the Life Paths series.
Are you a SEA TURTLE? What do you aim to spawn on your Return from your Oceanic journey of experience and maturation? Where is your home beach where you may build your new nest? How can you best provide for your own hatchlings?
images are from pixabay.com
I welcome YOUR comments and stories!