A Turtle named Beauregard.

I have been thinking long and hard about the new tattoo that I am ready to add. I know that I want it to relate to my Native American roots, and to the creatures that I identify as my totems. So, the next creature in line to add to my body, to my upper right arm to be exact, is a Turtle.

I love turtles. Although I have never owned one as a pet, I have enjoyed watching them in the wild near my house; seeing dozens of sea turtle eggs after they were laid on a beach in North Carolina; and family that had one as a pet. Last week, I had the privilege of meeting a turtle of a friend of mine. His name is Beauregard.

We had all had dinner together, and as an afterthought, our hosts realized that they had not introduced us to him, although they had wanted to. They led us into the living room, to his tank, and there he was, sitting and looking around. We both got down on the floor, to look at him up close, have him follow my finger on the outside of the tank, and take in all of the details of what made him so special.

That was what made meeting Beauregard so special: the detail with which we took him in. His claws on his feet, how he would pull his head in, and then poke it out again. How he loved how much attention that we paid him, and how we could see his flesh swell up under his shell. How we could actually see his nostrils, we were so close to him, and how his shell appears up close, curled up around the edges. As I watched him, and watched him watch me, I was so engrossed and amazed at how exciting, and moving, it could be to observe a living creature, and all of its details, up close.

Turtles live a long life, some as long as thirty and forty years. Amazing. Amazing to think that we could have walked by this creature, and I actually did, on my way to the bathroom, without even noticing. And then, when I did take notice, to notice, how profound of an experience that it was.

I walked away, with the reminder that I need to pay attention to the details of my life; to take in all that I experience; and to

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