~Turtle Zen~

There once lived a tortoise in a forest shaded, shallow stream. It had watched the sun rise over a mountain all its life. Seeing this, the turtle thought perhaps if it were to climb to the top of the mountain and with perfect timing, it could step onto the bright ball and catch a ride on the warm sun. For turtles love basking in the sun.

The turtle had spent nearly a year walking upward on a twisting and turning mountain road. The journey was a long, uphill battle and the turtle nearly had forgotten why it was making such a pilgrimage except for every morning it was reminded when the sun came over the mountain and renewed his desire for the suns warmth.

When the turtle finally reached the mountain top he realized that the sun was to high to step upon so it gazed down into the valley below and saw a beautiful lake. It then decided to go down the mountain in order to swim in the wonderful blue waters of the lake below, for it had not bathed in cool waters for a very long time. So he began its decent toward the valley, abandoning his goal to step onto the sun for a new destination.

As the turtle walked downward it lost its footing and balance and began to roll down a steep hillside. When the turtle quit tumbling and rolling it found itself upside-down, on its back. It struggled for a long time, unable to turn over the turtle decided to rest.

When nightfall came a wolf happened upon the turtle. Thinking that the turtle would make a delicious and easy meal the wolf clawed at the turtle and nudged it with its nose but was unable to find any flesh to bite into, the wolf soon left. The turtle however was now right-side up, thanks to the wolf. It then began to make its way down the mountain again.

Not much farther down the mountain, the turtle became victim to gravity and fell a great distance before coming to a stop. Once again the turtle found itself upside-down and helpless. Struggling  helplessly the turtle tried and tried to get right-side up but was unable to. A hawk saw the turtle wiggling and waving its legs in the air and swooped down and landed on the turtle. The turtle retreated deep into its shell.

The hawk gripped the turtle and began to fly away with it. The weight of the turtle was to much for a hawk but the hawk was persistent in getting the turtle to its nest. Flying rather low the hawk was unable to gain much altitude and eventually released the turtle in order to fly high. The turtle fell to the earth, landing in a bed of pine needles and once again rolled down the hill. When the turtle finally came to a stop it found itself close to the lake in which it was attempting to reach. The turtle crawled to the waters edge and submerged itself in the cool, refreshing blue water.

The next day the turtle was swimming under water and saw the bright sun above, so the turtle surfaced. It wanted so badly to bask in the warmth of the sun so it found a stump and crawled out of the water. There the turtle absorbed the sun’s warmth and contemplated the past events. The turtle found that the trying journeys it had endured had brought it to heaven. A place where it can swim in the cool blue waters of a lake and bask in the warmth of the sun. It’s only goal now… was to feed itself. So the turtle set out to accomplish this new goal.

(moral: We set goals for ourselves and pursue them, meeting challenges along the way. We may find ourselves feeling helpless and our world gets turned upside-down but patience and preserverance will help us prevail. Sometimes the dangers we come face to face with is just what we need to help us achieve these goals or makes us wiser from them, and as we reach one goal we tend to set another goal for ourselves.)

May you find peace and tranquility everyday on your journey as you attempt to reach your goals, whatever they may be.

By Art~ 2012

(this story has been brewing for awhile and went through so many changes. If you have any suggestions on how to make it better, I am all ears. (now with that… I ask, “why is it turtles have no ears? I see a new story coming … ‘grinin’)


It’s not about the destination… it’s about the journey!

have a zen-tastic day