I think I truly am becoming a literature nut. Recently, our family volunteered at a local state park – Wekiwa State Park.
It was an unusual opportunity assisting with a turtle count in a stretch of the local springs. The family needed to be experienced paddling a canoe and willing to hold a turtle. Check and check! Totally sounds like us!! Why the fascination with turtles, you ask? My family is die hard Maryland Terrapin fans. For the uneducated in Marylandese.. a terrapin is a turtle indigenous to the Maryland region and the state reptile.
And best of all the mascot of the GREAT – University of Maryland.
Anything to save or aid the world of turtles, we are in! I did not hesitate to sign us up. We experienced a fabulous day of canoeing and being taxis for turtles. As the researchers found turtles we paddled to the snorkeler, grabbed the turtle and placed in the canoe. We then paddled the canoe to the follow on boat and passed off the turtle to be held in a bin. The bin was marked by the section of the spring the turtle was found in so he or she could be placed back in their area of the spring. It was grand fun and a beautiful day to be on the river.
As I was paddling and thinking about turtles, I began to reflect on the turtle chapter in The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck. The chapter describes the tenacity of the turtle as it attempts to cross a road, up a hill, over a curb and across a dirt road. The turtle was determined and did not give up. Symbolic of the Okies pursuit of work and maintaining the family during the great depression and the dust bowl. As I watched the turtles in our canoe, I was amazed at the strength and speed of the turtles. Yes, SPEED! They were fast little boogers. Each of them, no matter the size kept trying to find a way out of the canoe. Just like in the chapter of the angry fruit book. So the tome project is now moving into thoughts of my daily life. Pretty cool, eh? I am now a literary volunteer!!
Grab a book, any book and READ! (and maybe paddle and enjoy a few turtles, too!)