Today J and I went to the New England Aquarium: a journey under the sea on a cold and windy day. Although I usually say the penguins and jellyfish are my favorite creatures on display at the Aquarium, today I found myself taking photo after photo of the sea turtles cruising around the giant ocean tank, where you can observe fish, turtles, and an occasional scuba diver at eye-level.
There is something mesmerizing about watching swimming fish–at times, viewing fish at the Aquarium feels like watching an enormous lava-lamp, with cool shapes and colors randomly appearing and disappearing before your eyes–and there is something equally magical about observing a sea turtle eye-to-eye. Sea turtles are creatures of the deep, so they seem more mysterious than the terrestrial tortoises and fresh-water turtles we see inland. For those of us who don’t scuba dive, the world under the sea might as well be another planet: a place we might imagine but never visit. Sea turtles in particular seem to be special emissaries from this little-understood realm, their soulful eyes suggesting they understand things we’ll never know.
Sea turtles are big; according to the Aquarium website, they can grow to five feet in length, and “Myrtle,” who has lived at the Aquarium since 1970 and is estimated to be 80 years old, weighs over 500 pounds. These figures, however, are abstract statistics until you find yourself face-to-face with a giant sea turtle, a wall of glass the only thing separating you. When you find yourself eye-to-eye with a sea turtle, your own life and its worrisome cares shrink into perspective, leaving ample room for wonder and awe.
This is my Day 24 contribution to NaBloPoMo, or National Blog Posting Month, a commitment to post every day during the month of November: thirty days, thirty posts.