This green sea turtle comes to you from the Midway Islands. I was there by a stroke of luck in 2010, and the Islands are an amazing place that very few people are lucky enough to visit. They bring a mix of emotions: being one of the most remote places on Earth, they breathe of solitude, bring the feeling of humility and connection with the earth. And they also serve as a grim reminder of what we, the humans, are doing to the planet.
This turtle came out onto the beach to rest, along with about five others. They were laying on the sand, and my presence didn’t disturb them in the slightest. I took pictures, watched them and stayed nearby, and they just laid there, resting.
And next to them there were remnants of fishing nets, plastic bottles, glass balls, baby pacifiers, straws and other garbage that some happy consumer threw away, finished with them. They looked so shockingly out of place that it is difficult to describe. It felt like a cow plop in the middle of a dinner table on Thanksgiving. Well, this is what we do, people. This is what we do.
This turtle will forever remind me of the immense expanse of the ocean into which it would disappear a few hours later, never to be seen again. The ocean over which we flew on a jet for eight hours, seeing nothing but water, just to get here. Of the fragile ocean for which we all are responsible. Bring her to your office or living room, and she will reming you of the same things. The wisdom, the unlimited waters, the fragility of all life.