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The turtle and the owl …

It's hell getting old. Your body begins to abandon you one function at a time. I wish I could say it was vision that went first. You know what I'm talking about. It gets progressively harder to see in dim light, and that's the way it was this morning about 5:45. I'm highly dependent on streetlights to cast a sheen on things that shouldn't be where they are. The downward light helps create a profile of junk and that makes it easier for me to do my thing. So it was as I approached Colony and Sharon View Roads. From about 20 yards, there was a glare from an object that appeared plastic. I neared it in full retrieval mode, it was dark and round, much like a flattened black plastic lid you'd find on a cup of Caribou coffee. But as I stopped to conquer, it wasn't plastic at all.

Beyond the turtle and the owl, not much was memorable about today's trek. This bagful of junk isn't worth remembering.

Beyond the turtle and the owl, not much was memorable about today's trek. This bagful of junk was very forgettable.

It was the mutilated

shell of a small turtle that had been crunched flat by a car. The lack of speed had been the poor creature’s undoing. It reminded me of several months ago when I had the chance to aid a box turtle’s trek across Colony, only to selfishly hasten on my way. The next day, the smashed turtle’s carcass caused me shame and regret. There wasn’t much I could do but lament the demise of today’s juvenile turtle.

The impromptu post-mortem complete, I carried on up the road. In this part of town, as in many neighborhoods in Charlotte, the tree canopy extends over the pavement. As I ambled beneath the limbs about 50 yards past the death scene, a loud screech nearly directly overhead literally caused me to jump. It was the hoot of some owl, species unknown, and the bird scared the living bejesus out of me. It was a single, loud hoot. I’m not sure what the owl was announcing but it’s the sort of noise that makes the morning jaunt come alive.

Those were the two memorable portions of today’s stroll. If you count the fully intact and functioning iPhone I found on the grass adjacent to the sidewalk, you could round that figure up to three. I’ll tote the device up to Verizon to see if they can help solve the riddle of the passcode so the phone can be returned to the young woman whose photo is on the screen.

I suppose being nice is one of the remaining functions that an aging person can do.

About Dave Bradley (264 Articles)
I was a writer by trade so one would think letters would come easily for me. It is so now, but wasn't always that way. Indeed, the first letter was written the Monday after Ellen started her freshman year in college. For years I've wondered - with no good answers - why I swiveled my office chair toward my computer screen to fire up a word processing document for that first letter. I just don't know. I just did. Perhaps it was the angst of separation or wanting to say things that had gone unsaid at that moment when we parted ways in front of her college dormitory. What was a one-off became habitual. When her brother Reid enrolled in the same college, his name was added to the salutation line. They were kids then and are adults now. No matter. The letter writing habit remains so today. I live in Brevard, North Carolina. I'm well away from where they live and don't see them nearly as often as I'd like. That's why letters, at least to me, fill the void of distance. The pages give me something to say and the space to say it. There is no assurance they read the letters; indeed, I have never asked if they do so. With the pace of their busy lives who could blame them for letting a letter sit unopened? Over time, it has dawned on me that the letters are both communicative - and cathartic. By nature, letters are about the writer; the writer can only write about their situation. Perhaps that is as it should be. It's all about the here and now from one person's perspective.

1 Comment on The turtle and the owl …

  1. John Cleghorn // May 17, 2015 at 1:43 pm // Reply

    Love this, Dave.

    I will get a chance to pay more attention to CGN this week. Sorry for the radio silence this week. Up to my hair buds busy.

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