Finding Turtle-mind.

painted hatchling

Painted turtle (Chrysemys picta) within hours of hatching on May 17th, Fremont County, Iowa. (Photo by Robert Smith.)

On September 5th, 1855, Ralph Waldo Emerson made this observation in his journal: “All the thoughts of a turtle are turtle.” It is not entirely clear what was going on in his thoughts, but we know for sure he was not thinking the thoughts of a turtle. Regardless how close we get or how deeply we connect with nature, we need to be aware that human thoughts belong to human nature.

We also need to embrace the reality that human nature, dreams, and aspirations come from the wildness within, and that we share that basic wildness with each turtle that hatches in the warm soil of spring and begins the dangerous and wonderful journey toward home. At The Naturalist School, we believe that finding our primal wildness, and growing wilder each day, is the work of a naturalist and of a healthy, thoughtful human being.

If you meet a hatchling turtle on the path, greet your sweet cousin and help that little one find the way. And join us at The Naturalist School. Click here for this week’s adventures.