Friday, March 20, 2020

Going Home

Thought for the day: You can't go home again, because home has ceased to exist except in the mothballs of memory.  [John Steinbeck]

[image courtesy of morguefile]
Do you think that's true?

Is a yearning to go home nothing but useless nostalgia for a place that no longer exists?

And what IS home, anyway? Is it the place we came from... or is it the place we live now? Or perhaps we're like turtles, and no matter where we go, we take home with us?

[courtesy of morguefile}

I kinda agree with the concept that home is where the heart is... but what if our heart aches for a different place... where we once lived, or maybe someplace we'd like to live?

Well, then I reckon we have to suck it up, cupcake, and make the best of it.

But not always.



[image courtesy of Two Oceans Aquarium]


Meet Yoshi, a loggerhead turtle. Evidently, no one told HER you can't go home again.

In 1997, some Japanese fishermen found her... injured... off the coast of South Africa, and they took her to the fine folks at Two Oceans Aquarium, where she was treated, rehabilitated and trained to regain her strength. As she grew, she quickly became a crowd favorite at the aquarium.

                                   Here's a video of her at the aquarium in 2014:
     

                                             Um, yeah, she grew quite a bit over the years.

                                  In December of 2017, she was released back into the wild:


That gizmo on her back is a satellite tracking device. You know, so the folks at the aquarium... and around the world... could track her travels. And WOW! What a journey that ol' gal's been on.

[image courtesy of Two Oceans Aquarium]
The green marker indicates the place where she was released into the wild. From there, she headed up the west coast of Africa near Namibia and Angola. Then she turned around, went back to the area she'd been released and then headed across the Indian Ocean.

For the past 26 months, she's been swimming, swimming, swimming. Her destination? Evidently, to a loggerhead breeding and nesting area off the coast of Australia. This determined loggerhead turtle has doggedly swam more than 23,000 miles... without a break. Now that's determination. Could it be that the breeding ground is the place she was hatched... her home? Seems like an amazing possibility, doesn't it? After being in captivity for twenty years, something guided her to those breeding grounds.

[image courtesy of morguefile]
I like to think that she has, indeed, returned home.

At any rate, her journey is the longest, both in distance and longevity, that a tracking device has recorded.

She's quite the star. And hopefully, she'll be laying eggs of her own next breeding season.

Home is where one starts from. [T.S. Eliot]

No matter where you are, no matter where you may go, embrace that place, and I believe you will always feel... at home.


                                    Until next time, take care of yourselves. And each other.

50 comments:

  1. I saw Yoshi's story and my eyes misted over a little. I hope that she does indeed find a mate and keeps on coming home.
    And I wish that my partner had some of her direction skills. Just a smidgeon of her direction skills.

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    1. It's a story worthy of misty eyes.It's mind-boggling what she endured to make it home again.

      HA! My fella's got a super sense of direction... I sure could use some of her skills, though. :)

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  2. 23,000 miles??? That's one helluva swim! What an astounding story. I had no idea a turtle could travel that far.

    How did you know I like the Celtic Woman (...or women...)? The song made me misty-eyed.

    I suppose there's a secret yearning in all of us to go home again, but - as Jay Gatsby learned - you can't repeat the past. The older I get, the more I find myself entwined in memories of the past. It wasn't always the best of times but it is a place that's more safe than the uncertain future....

    As for home, I tend to agree that home is where the heart is.

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    1. I know! That's one determined swimmer. (Makes me tired just to contemplate it.)

      I didn't know... but I'm not surprised. Their music strikes some kind of primal chord inside of me, too.

      I think what we yearn for isn't so much a place, but the people and experiences forever entwined with it in our memories. Now that those people and experiences are long gone, returning to that place can never be the same. Time has paved over the old places, weeds have overgrown our old hangouts, and the people we remember are long gone. Lucky for us, they still reside in our hearts. And lucky for Yoshi, I think her return home was more successful.

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  3. Nice post. My home will always be London, where I grew up, although I have spent more time here in Germany than there! But I love the place where I live now, and feel well here, so this is my second home, and I'm thankful to be here. Hugs, Valerie

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    1. Thanks. Sounds to me like you're the kind of person who can bloom wherever she's planted.

      Hugs back atcha.

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  4. Strangely, I agree with Steinbeck and Eliot. Eliot thought poems, including those about home, began and ended in a place that was not conscious. Steinbeck said,"...you can't go home again...", and I concur for a different reason: After over 60 years of subdivision and strip malls, there's just no place to park any more.

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    1. Not strange at all. You have the delightful ability to embrace both sides of the coin. (I bet you were a formidable debater.)

      HA! You're right about there being no place to park anymore. Either that, or the places you remember from the past have been demolished to make way for more parking lots.

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  5. I hope Yoshi takes a well earned break now that she is finally home and maybe next season she will start the next generation of tough-as-nails Yoshis.

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  6. Home is where we feel safe and where we we find love. Like Yoshi, our journey takes us to many places to find our purpose and when we get there, we can find peace.

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    1. Beautifully expressed, dear lady. I like to think that, like Yoshi, we carry the sense of safety, love, and purpose within us, so wherever we may hang out hats, we can find a modicum of peace.

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  7. Hi Susan - nature is quite incredible isn't it ... how animals home in on where they need to be. Wonderful story about Yoshi ... yes ... being home, feeling at home, and feeling loved - all so important - cheers Hilary

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    1. Hi-ya, Hilary. Yes, nature is amazing. Animals have a much keener sense of home than most people.

      Cheers back atcha. Take care.

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  8. That is quite a distance she traveled.
    As a military brat, we moved all the time, so home is where I am right now.

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    1. For sure. Animals are capable of some amazing things.

      Cool! I didn't realize you were a military brat. There was an Army base in our community, so a number of my friends' fathers were stationed there. They didn't all cope well with the constant moving.

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  9. Love this story! But you know I pretty much love any story about turtles/tortoises. :)

    I so enjoy seeing the sea turtle nests roped off on the beaches and sometimes being able to see their path up from the sea to the sand. Truly amazing creatures!

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    1. I'm glad you did. Funny, but I was thinking about you when i wrote it. :)

      How wonderful that you get to see their nests and paths to the sea in person. I've only seen them in pictures and videos, and it's impossible not to root for those little guys when you watch them struggle toward the sea.

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    2. Hee hee! :)

      I've never actually seen the little guys make their run to the sea. I've only seen the trails from the mama turtle from the sea to where she lays her eggs. I have seen baby turtles at the local aquarium, though, if they needed rescuing. :)

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    3. Just seeing their trails would be exciting. :)

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  10. What an amazing story. Animals instincts are very strong. It just seems hard to believe her home was so far away. Seems you can home again, if you really want to.

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  11. Yoshi's journey leaves me slack-jawed! … and the Celtic Women's performance? The fat tears running down my cheeks aren't so attractive, but I really don't care.

    Ya, 'home' isn't where I grew up; rather, an unassuming West Texas town where I enjoyed the best years of my life. I wouldn't care to revisit either place, preferring to remember "the way we were."

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    1. It's hard to fathom the long distances animals travel to reach their breeding grounds or migratory destination. Some people balk at having to walk around the block. :)

      Nice way to put it. The "way we were" is usually romanticized by the passage of time, so it's probably safer to enjoy it via pleasant memories, anyway.

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  12. As travellers my family were and still are doing just that … travelling. It's not so bad:) Love, cat.

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    1. I'm sure lots of other travelers would agree with you. The more we travel, the smaller the world becomes.

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  13. I used to think that home is where the heart is. But now I think that home is where we are at the moment. No matter where we are.

    Beautiful text, Susan!

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    1. I agree that home is where we are at the moment. We've gotta bloom wherever we're planted.

      Thank you. I'm glad you liked it. :)

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  14. OK now you made me tear up. . . . I adore turtles and Yoshi is home !
    Hope you both are safe and well.
    parsnip xx

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    1. I'm glad Yoshi's story touched your heart. :)

      We're hanging in there. I hope you're staying well, too.

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  15. I'm glad the turtle could find its way home!

    For myself, I'm sucking it up like you say. I miss home acutely some days because I miss how things used to be. I miss my folks and my grandparents and my childish thinking that everything was right in the world. But then, being the buttercup that I am, I remind myself of all the blessings I have whom I didn't have then. Some days it doesn't do well to look forward or back, just enjoy right now.

    I hope you're staying safe. I went out for the first time this week for a grocery run and was amazed at the number of people socializing. My husband and son have to work and have to keep going out, so I imagine myself as being contagious and try to stay as far from people as I can. And I held my breath as I passed elderly people. I hope no one noticed and thought I was being rude. I was just trying to keep my germs to myself.

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    1. It kinda sounds like what you miss most is the security of childhood. With so much uncertainty in the world right now, maybe we all do. But above all, I agree with your "just enjoy right now." My hubby and I try to "carpe the hell out of every diem."

      As one of those old ladies, I appreciate you trying to keep your germs to yourself. Except for going to the cancer center, we're pretty much hunkered down in the house, but I'm probably going to have to venture to the grocery store by the end of the week. Maybe by then, the run on toilet paper will be over. :)

      Take care, kiddo.

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  16. Wow, that is quite the distance indeed. Maybe she just knew where to find home.

    Home is where you are right now is pretty much the case. I always think it is more who you're with than where you are.

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    1. Her sense of direction is obviously a whole lot better than mine. I can get lost a mile away from home...

      Yes! Not so much a where... but a who. I like it.

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  17. Good story. Watching nature shows, it's amazing the efforts animals go to for home. I still refer to my dad's place as home. That's where I spent half my life - my formative years. Until he leaves there, that's my rock. Now TX is my physical home, my Ray home, my life now home. There are nuances to be had in the word "home" and it's what you make of your circumstances.
    Right now I wish the sun would shine at home - over a week of monsoon rains - that's getting old.
    Take care, stay well, and enjoy your home

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    1. I know you still have strong ties to PA. (AND Pa. HA) We've been in GA for so many years, we don't feel like we "belong" in MD anymore. You're right about the nuances.

      We've had a lot of rain this year, but the sun has been frequent visitor this past week. It's glorious. Makes it easier to see the layer of pollen covering everything, :)

      You guys take care, too.

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  18. Isn't it amazing that somehow Yoshi knew where she belonged? I'm at home wherever I am, but my heart still yearns for my house in Western Maryland. When people ask where I'm from, I ask if they want to know where I was born or where I live now. Lovely song.

    Love,
    Janie

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    1. Yes, it is amazing. My heart yearns for some of the people who are no longer around, but I don't think I have a strong connection to any one place. As long as Smarticus is with me, I'd be happy anywhere.

      Take care of yourself, kiddo.

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  19. Such a powerful story of determination! Fantastic! Wishing you a happy spring. Stay safe and well.

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  20. I know where home is for me. Maybe I'll get back there. Maybe not. I hope that turtle lays LOTS of eggs and lives happily ever after.

    And I am supper happy about the good news for Smarticus, and you. That makes my heart happy :)

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    1. If there's a place you want to be, I hope you make your way there again. And I hope Yoshi lays lots of eggs in the future, too. So cool that she's freeeeee again. :)

      Thank you. Makes us pretty darned happy, too. :)

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  21. Incredible turtle and incredible journey. :-)

    Greetings from London.

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    1. Yeah, she's something else. :)

      Greetings back atcha.

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  22. That is one inspiring turtle! I did not realize turtles had such strong innate homing devices.

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    1. She's quite the inspiration. We could all learn a little bit about determination from her.

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  23. I think home is where you're happy. And I think you should be happy wherever you are. :) The turtle is awesome.

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  24. I've lived in so many places, but the one that felt the most like home was Alaska. I was the happiest there. I'm very settled where I am but I miss my boys something awful. I did talk to both of them this week and it only made me more melancholy. They of course, wouldn't claim the same. LOL As it should be.
    Glad you're hunkered down and I do hope you're finding all you need.
    Stay safe, stay well!

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    1. Alaska, huh? So you naturally sicced a crazed serial killer on your "favorite" place...? Um, it's perfectly fine if I'm not your favorite person.

      You stay safe, too, kiddo.

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