In the sea, she soars. On land, she paddles ploddingly upon the shore to lay her precious eggs. The expectant Mother returns to the exact spot where she was born. Future generations will emerge from her womb and the womb of the world.

After two to three months, the little hatchlings awaken and emerge from the Earth’s Bosom with nothing but faith. Faith that they will make their way back to the sea. The predators are everywhere, waiting to devour the tiny hatchlings that have, at long last, tasted life. Propelled forward by their instincts, they rush onwards towards the foamy and frothy waters. Few hatchlings survive their first voyage–but those who do, will go on to live beyond our wildest years.

The turtle is the bearer of a great legacy. They were here when dinosaurs roamed the planet. They were here when the Earth herself was formed. They have witnessed all the changes, trials, tribulations and wars that Mother Earth and its inhabitants have encountered over the millennia. Through it all, the turtle has remained steadfast and resilient.

In a world wrecked by war, the turtle chose peace. They are the gentle giants and warriors of Mother Earth.

Artwork by Author Dipa Sanatani

A long time ago, the Mother of all Mothers blessed their species with longevity and long life. Theirs is a perilous solitary voyage across the seven seas. They never search for a ‘home’ because they know that they carry their homes with them wherever they go.

But when the time comes, the Mother returns. She returns to the land where she once emerged as a hatchling. She remembers all the predators that failed to devour her. She knows that those who will emerge from her womb will have to carry forward the heavy burden of the Earth’s destiny. She is the preserver and the protector of life.

And as long as the Mother is born, the Earth will continue to live.

She is the Ancient Mother. She is the origin and the source of all life and to whom we will and must inevitably return for all eternity–if we wish to dwell in the bosom of Mother Earth and not in the vast expanse of Father Sky.

The Mother gives birth to the next generation of Mothers. Unlike other species, the gender of the hatchling remains undecided till it is incubated within the sands of time. The hotter the Earth, the more Mothers are born.

After a long voyage, the Mother returns to the exact spot where her own Mother was born. She lays her eggs within the Earth’s Bosom. The hatchlings may not remember, or even know, who their Father is, but they will always know who their Mother is.

She is not one woman, but three. In one lifetime, a turtle knows three mothers. The Mother from which she emerged, the Mother that incubated them in her Bosom, and the Sea Mother to whom they returned once they were ready to be born.

The hatchlings awaken: to the Sun and to the Sea. Theirs is a unique destiny. For no matter where they go, they will always be at that place we call home.

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