Sanguine Lessons from Endangered Sea Turtles
Learning From The Odds-Beaters
In honor of World Ocean’s Week and World Environment Day, I’m sharing one of my favorite stories from living in Costa Rica.
It was one of the most incredible moments of my life as I stood on Playa Tortuguero and quietly watched baby sea turtles rapidly make their way out of the nest, literally running over my feet and facing their first challenges of driftwood and coconut shells blocking their path to the water.
Watching them take the first few steps in their life, their first few breaths, reminded me that life has obstacles. Always. From the moment we are born.
Some of us are fortunate to have support but others, like these turtles, only have their innate instincts. They needed to get to the salty warm water. After digging their way to the sandy surface, and taking only a few breaths in their first moments of life, they had to make a run for it towards their new home, the Caribbean Sea.
Besides the obstructions in the sand, they would also face hovering birds waiting to dive down and grab their soft shells into their beaks. As well as bull sharks once they got into the water.
For the 80% that do make it into the water, only 1–2% will survive (thankfully nobody’s told the turtles this).
What’s so amazing is that in 20 or so years, all the females who were born today AND survive will return to this exact spot to lay their own eggs and start a new generation. That is, if we can keep our oceans and its underwater life protected. If we really want these turtles to survive, you’re gonna have to give up your Tuna Poke and Rainbow Roll (but remember, I’ve got an amazing Vegan Dragonroll that you can replicate here!). Tuna is not dolphin (or turtle) friendly, no matter what the Starkist can says. And rather than thinking about having to “give up” something, why not consider it a way to “give back”: To our planet, to future generations, to the dolphins and turtles who have no voice but who live and breathe, just like you and me.
Here are the Sanguine Lessons I learned from Endangered Sea Turtles
Life will always give you roadblocks. To find your way around the driftwood, you’ll need strength and determination to help you not only survive but thrive. It’s even better if there’s someone there to support you and help move the driftwood (as we did for many of these little turtles).
Life takes courage. And sometimes you’re gonna be out there, feeling all alone, tired, afraid and with no support. And there will be vultures overhead and sharks swimming nearby, watching and waiting for you to screw up. But if you pause, take a breath, and power forward, a wave will eventually come along and guide you to where you need to be.
Follow your instincts. If these little turtles were aware of their odds of survival, they would never want to break free from their egg shells. When you have a goal in sight, forget the statistics, and listen to your instincts — they will get you to where you need to go.
love and lemonade,
PS. The above story happened during a beach walk with a professionally trained guide who provided us with instructions upon seeing the nests hatching (there were actually two nests hatching at the same time!). As a reminder… please don’t ever interact with wild animals and if you see an injured animal, contact your local wildlife center or other authorities trained to deal with these types of situations.
Chrissy Gruninger is an author and creator of the Inherent Harmony Mentoring Program. She loves her tiny jungle home in Costa Rica, the sunshine and the rain and passionately believes that through intentional actions we create more happiness, health and harmony in the world. Her goal: to empower others to thrive in an imperfect world. Connect with her at http://www.ChrissyGruninger.com.