By Guy Chapman – Navarro County Gazette
Yes We Can
Earlier in the week, as I was running some errands, I found a turtle in the road trying to cross that weird intersection by Forrest Lane and Dobbins Road, a spot where cars usually zip through at high speeds.
It was a large, and apparently long-lived turtle, considering the amount of moss attached to its shell. I figured anyone who can age to the point where moss grows on them has seen some experience. I decided to pull over and help the animal.
I picked it up and carried it across the street to the other side (I assumed that’s where it was headed, anyway) and placed it near some bushes. It sat in its mossy shell, clearly waiting for me to go away so it could continue whatever turtle things it had planned for the afternoon. Satisfied enough, I drove off and didn’t think another thing about it. To me, it simply needed to be done.
Later in the day, I was driving down Northwood Boulevard, and saw that same turtle trying to cross another big and busy street. I considered pulling over to help again, but another driver apparently had the same idea, performing the same “rescue” I did earlier, helping it across the road. I wondered if the turtle had built a personal transit system to get around town faster based on people helping it out. I guess all that moss really does mark experience.
Throughout the week, I thought about the value of helping the others and doing what’s considered the right thing. From one standpoint, I got nothing out of the experience. The turtle didn’t thank me, nor was it a millionaire turtle that opened up its wallet to reward me for my good deed. On the other hand, the animal was clearly out of its league and could have been killed for just trying to get through its day. It took me a minute to do something that was a benefit to others. Considering what I saw on Northwood later that day, someone else recognized that same need.
The last year and a half has really changed my perspective on a lot of things, feelings of my own mortality mixed with a larger need to go beyond myself and see where I can be of help during a difficult time. Like it or not (and it’s definitely okay to “not”), we’re still all facing those challenges. “The New Normal” of last year still remains “The Present Normal,” and I don’t see it going away until we start carrying each other to reach our desired location.
I enjoyed this past summer. As a news person, it saddens me to read local news in North Texas, where it feels like the same story is being repeated daily. Similar to when I wrote about the passing of Dr. Rogers, I had to set aside personal feelings to share a recent community update before I allowed myself the switch from “journalist” to “person” and feel my own sense of grief.
We need to carry each other right now because we’re all presently stuck on the same big road. The answer is there to carry us to our desired outcome. Maybe we just need a little more moss.
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