I'm not sure why we humans have an ongoing need to be constantly searching for that "something"...whatever that something may be. I know in my own case I don't even know what that something is. But it's very real--I feel it in my heart--and it whispers my name...unless I ignore it too many times, and it begins to call me more and more loudly until it grows into a shout. Figuratively, I mean, of course. And so I end up leaving the safety and comfort of my perfect Sacred Garden in search of this "something"...that something I can't name or really understand. Is that a purpose? To be honest, I'm not sure. Perhaps we only ever have really small purposes with each sun-greeting? Maybe. Maybe even several smaller purposes in a single sun-greeting? Perhaps.
And so, for whatever reason, I decided to bring this particular escape from my Sacred Garden to and end and return home. As I drew near the border between Flatlandia and by beloved Xanadu Forest, I decided to head further east and say hello to my lovely sister, the River. I found a lovely flat spot on my sister's bank, and sat down, soaking in her beauty. Oh how she always flows...endlessly, eternally. I wrapped my arms around my hunched up knees, and rested my chin thoughtfully upon them. I spoke to her with my heart, knowing well she would only answer me when I slept.
Then, suddenly, my heart felt the strong presence of another heart watching me. I instinctively turned to my right, and there on the River's bank next to me was a turtle...silent and not moving. Just looking up at me in some sort of wonder. "Well, hello there, little gorgeous one," I spoke, and stroked the turtle's head gently with two fingers. The turtle remained silent, so I continued, "You know, you are the first turtle I've ever seen in our lands. We don't have turtles here in Interterrestria. I had forgotten how beautiful you are."
The turtle blushed a little, and finally answered, "Thank you. You're very beautiful too. I'm Dee-Dee. I guess you already know I'm from...umm...elsewhere. A very far away elsewhere."
"I have never heard of 'elsewhere,' gorgeousness--not even a very far away one," I replied.
The lovely turtle laughed. It was a most beautiful laugh--a sort of high pitched, squeaking and adorable laugh that's hard to describe beyond that. Then she finally spoke again, "Well it's not called 'Elsewhere' of course, silly...there's just no way to pronounce it in your language. Our language is made up only of squeaks, high pitched grunts, and occasional clicks. I don't believe your throat would be able to make such sounds."
"Try me," I suggested.
And Dee-Dee did. And I can't even begin to type how her turtle voice sounded.
"Umm yeah," I admitted, "I guess we better stick to English for now." And we both laughed a little more. Then I finally asked her, "So how did you get here?"
Dee-Dee seemed to think long and hard before answering, "Well, I left my home long, long ago. I stowed away on a ship and crossed the seas. The ship finally docked and I found myself in a dirty, dark industrial city filled with nasty seagulls. I knew I couldn't stay there, so--"
"Ahh, Bleakerton!" I interrupted. And I added, "Port Pollutus is where your ship would have docked. You poor thing! You're blessed to have made it out of there alive--a tender gorgeousness such as yourself. Seagulls are the worst! I've only been to Bleakerton once, and I have to say--"
Then Dee-Dee interrupted me right back, laughing adorably, as she said, "Yeah, they're total assholes! But you know, a shell is a pretty handy thing to have."
"Yes, I suppose it really would be," I confirmed. Then I asked the lovely Dee-Dee, "Can I ask why you decided to take upon such a long journey?"
Dee-Dee took no thought at all before answering, "Purpose. I have no purpose. And I want a purpose. We turtles have no purpose, you know. We're just turtles."
This intrigued me greatly, and it was not lost on me that I had just been pondering something like this before I met Dee-Dee upon my sister's bank. So much synchronicity...even in my own imaginary lands. I gazed into the beauty of my sister the River for quite some time before I finally offered up, "Perhaps simply being a turtle IS you purpose. Why must it be more than that?"
Dee-Dee shook her head very slowly before offering back, "Nope. Not good enough for me. I need a higher purpose...my heart says so. And, I should add, you sound like my parents! And, your lovely sister the River says you are not so different. She says I should ask you why you are sitting here next to me. You are searching for something too, are you not?"
"Wow! You can hear my sister speak!?" I exclaimed. She only speaks to ME in my sleep."
"Of course I can! You didn't know we turtles can speak to water?!" Dee-Dee exclaimed back at me. And the gorgeous turtle added, "And please don't try and dodge my question by changing the subject. What are YOU searching for?"
Dee-Dee had me there. I could only reply, "You're a very clever and gorgeous turtle indeed. To be perfectly honest, I don't know what it is I'm searching for. There's just this 'something' that calls me away sometimes. It's like I need to escape sometimes. Just get away. I don't know how to explain it. I live in the most perfect place, you know, my Sacred Garden. I have no wants or needs. And yet, sooner or later, I'm always running away again. It's not that I'm unhappy. It's just...umm...I don't know. I'd say a shell is a pretty great thing to have sometimes."
Dee-Dee replied quickly, "Yes, having a shell is a great thing sometimes. My home goes with me wherever I go. It protects me--keeps me safe. But it's not always all that it's cracked up to be. Look at how the birds only keep their shells until they've grown enough...then they crack them and leave them behind. They find their purpose and emerge. You know what I think? I think you're searching for your purpose too."
I smiled, and stroked the gorgeous turtle's head gently again with two fingers, and said, "Perhaps. But I've already had lots of purposes. For instance, I'm the assistant county clerk of the Xanadu Forest, not to mention the keeper of my Sacred Garden."
Clever Dee-Dee responded quickly, "So why are you here in the middle of nowhere talking to a turtle? Shouldn't you be at work?"
I hesitated, but finally answered, "Well, umm...I don't really like to work very much. I hired an assistant to the assistant county clerk to handle things in the office. A lovely Steller's Jay named Caw Caw Carl."
Dee-Dee the gorgeous turtle caught me again, "So that's obviously not your purpose. What do you do in your Sacred Garden?"
I answered more quickly this time, "Well, I mostly sign off on garden gate activity logs for Madeleine, my beautiful gatekeeper, and I hang out with my soulmate Cousin Eddie, the Raven. He builds stuff out of empty beer cans. And sometimes we play records and board games...and chug beer of course, so that Cousin Eddie has plenty of empties to build things with."
Dee-Dee asked poignantly, and pointedly, "And you'd consider that a purpose?"
I replied, "Well, I've been studying the ancient Xanaduvian language too, and learning about the ancient history of our lands. Dear Caesar Emeritus the librarian gives me homework packets to do, and I've learned a lot."
Dee-Dee continued her line of questioning, "So where are your homework packets now?"
I hesitated again, then finally admitted, "Well, Caw Caw Carl has been taking care of those while I've been away. But I'll be working on them as soon as I get back."
"I see," Dee-Dee, the gorgeous turtle sighed, obviously unconvinced. And she continued, "You see that I'm a turtle. How would you say that in the ancient Xanaduvian language?"
I answered sheepishly, "Well, I haven't gotten to amphibians yet--since we don't have them in our lands--so I don't know. But I can name many others in ancient Xanaduvian."
Dee-Dee pop quizzed me, "Name three animals. No hesitating."
"Okay, fine," I said, and continued, "Ave transkas is 'Raven,' Bah is 'Bear,' and obehfwaray is 'Tiger.'
"Ooh! I like tigers!" Dee-Dee exclaimed. Then she asked me, "Do you have any tigers here in your lands?"
Such a clever and gorgeous turtle, Dee-Dee is! She had me again. I could only reply sheepishly, "No, we don't have tigers in interterrestria."
"I thought as much," Dee-Dee sort of gently sneered. Then she smiled so wonderfully, and said to me, "You know what? I think we both found our purpose...if only a purpose for this sun-greeting. I'm so glad we met. Which reminds me, you haven't told me your name."
I replied happily, "Ohh, you're right! Forgive me, Dee-Dee. My name is Kev. And it's so nice to meet you too. For certain, our meeting was no accident."
Dee-Dee looked surprised, and asked, "Wait a minute! Kev?! Like THE Kev that writes such beautiful stories from the heart of the Xanadu Forest?!"
It was my turn to blush. I smiled a large and warm smile, "Yes, sweet and gorgeous Dee-Dee, that is me. How could you have heard of me?"
Dee-Dee smiled warmly back at me and answered, "Your stories are legendary throughout our land...where the turtles live...I mean, where I came from."
I smiled again, but didn't feel like saying anything else just then except, "Ves ves! Gratotsik e voum."
"Excuse me?" Dee-Dee asked.
"That's ancient Xanaduvian, darlin. It means 'Thank you very much. I love you.'"
"Ohh, I like that, Kev. It's a pretty language," Dee-Dee spoke softly, then she asked, "And how would you say 'you're welcome'?"
"Egrasema," I quickly responded, and added, "It translates literally into 'it's a small love to me'...which is the Xanaduvian way of saying 'it's no big deal.' But it's often shortened to simply 'egras'...for the sake of brevity."
Dee-Dee the gorgeous turtle climbed up onto my lap just then, smiled, and spoke so warmly, "Egrasema, Kev. Gratotsik e voum."
And I stroked Dee-Dee's head gently once more with two fingers as we both looked out at my beautiful sister, the River, and our hearts listened to her voice.
It was a most beautiful sun and moon-greeting.
Life is so beautiful beautiful.
Thank you lovelies for always being you and for being out there. If we have but one purpose, may it be that we forever overcome the darkness that gathers around the Light. And may we succeed!
Gratotsik e voum
(I love you)