You can thank the Atlanta newspaper for this re-post. A brief article on Monday reminded me of something that's happening right now in New York, something that fascinates me so much that I wrote a post about it five years ago. That's plenty of time for y'all to have completely forgotten about it by now, and I think it's a story worth retelling. It originally ran in July of 2011 as We Can Fly With a Little Help From Our Friends. With a wee bit of editing, here it is again.
Thought for the day: Man must not allow the clock and the calendar to blind him to the fact that each moment of his life is a miracle and a mystery. H.G. Welles
|All's relative at a family reunion.|
Speed's the same way. To a child pedaling his toy car down the driveway as fast as he can, he's flying like the wind. But if you put that same pedal car on the autobahn? Different story. And compared to a snail, a turtle moves pretty darned fast. But compared to a 747? Road kill.
Or at least, it could be.
If you've ever been disheartened by news stories about modern progress pushing yet another animal out of its natural habitat and to the brink of extinction, here's a story of a different breed. Right now, a piece of the modern world is hitting the pause button. Or you could say ... it's slowing to a crawl.
You've heard of the annual running of the bulls? Well, every year diamondback terrapins leave the salt marshes of the Atlantic and Gulf coasts to take part in a slow motion stampede of their own. In this annual running of the turtles, these critters lumber to their nesting grounds, and every year, a herd of 'em crawls right through New York's JFK Airport during their trek to the Jamaica Bay Refuge Center to lay their eggs. In 2011, their journey intersected with JFK's Runway 4, and an estimated 150 turtles shut down the runway and delayed flights for approximately an hour. As one unnamed Jet Blue pilot allegedly said, "Running over turtles is not healthy for them, nor is it good for the tires." Right. I can't see as how being run over by a 747 would be particularly healthy for any of God's creatures. Life transforming, perhaps, but definitely not healthy. This year, some 400 turtles have been making their laborious way across the runways and taxiways.
It just goes to show you. Even if we cover it up with concrete, steel, and asphalt, nature is still all around us. And it was here first. It's good to know the folks at JFK Airport understand that.
Another thing this turtle tale reminds us? Even though we may feel like a lone turtle plodding a solitary path on the scary runway of life at times, we're never truly alone. No matter what obstacles and hardships we may face, no matter what tragedy befalls us, there are support groups, both online and off, to lift us back up again. No matter what our destination, there are always other people willing to help us in our journey. All we have to do is let them. In the amateur radio community, the more experienced hams who provide guidance and assistance to other hams are called Elmers. In schools and workplaces, we have tutors and mentors. Same for most hobbies, and same for writing. Especially in the blogosphere. Not only is there a host of aspiring writers blogging about their travails and triumphs, but there are also agents, editors, publishers, and already-published authors offering a treasure trove of tips, advise, and support, and bless their hearts, the majority of them are more than willing to throw us in the back of their truck and help us across that scary tarmac. In a matter of speaking.
Know what? This old broad may still plod like a turtle, but with so many helpful friends in and out of the blogosphere, I feel like SUPER TURTLE!
Until next time, take care of yourselves. And each other.