Sporting a perimeter of forests, marshes, horse farms, and used cars (for-sale), Campbellville Road is among the more scenic stretches of my Hamilton-Fergus commute. It’s also the locus of G-forces, and occasional near-airborne fun, the product of pushing speed-limit boundaries over quick little hills.
This week’s edition of my rural-road routine, however, presented me with another sort of discovery: one which bade me ponder the character of the turtle. It is of course, no coincidence that I recently finished a painting on this theme. The fact that one crossed my path with this kind of timing is either divine providence or a glitch in the Matrix.
So why did the turtle cross the road? Perhaps it shared my own interest in a successful morning commute. His only success on this morning, as it happened,
would be the causing of a ruckus, and being the trigger for this blog post.
Upon spotting the lumbering creature making his way onto the gravel shoulder, I swerved, ever so slightly, then proceeded to pull a U-ie (or is it a yuwie?) so as to further investigate. My own vantage point was one of… well… great advantage. Unlike the velocity-deprived quadruped on the road, my own elevated eyes could at least see the approaching minivan, whose projectile fully intended to intersect with that of the entity here concerned. In hindsight, the moments of suspense and relief that enveloped my mind at this juncture were somewhat exhilarating. But what really struck me was neither a minivan nor turtle guts. Instead, what I experienced during the rapid passage of firestone tires on either side of this clumsy life-form was somewhere between humility and wonder.
I really related to the turtle’s flinch: his swift instinctual ducking-of-the-head inside of his shell made me understand what faith was all about.This guy has a bombshelter, and knows how to use it. Somehow, the knowledge that this refuge was not designed to sustain the impact of a large heaps of hurtling metal did not matter. Was I witnessed was powerlessness, and I empathized: because that sort of state is one that I too have known. Do you relate to the flinch?
While I considered the options that remained for me and my dead camera battery, some other good Samaritan in a little red Toyota Echo had already pulled up ahead of me, bent on rescuing Turtle from the clutches of death. God bless her, but she placed him back on the same side of the road from whence he came. I hope that if he attempts his mission again, he’ll do to it at a safer hour: say, 3am on a Sunday morning, when the only cars on Campbellville road are the ones in which we find such signs as "for sale, inquire".
I hope that this weekend you’ll inquire about the price of art. I’ll be selling my pieces at the hamilton waterfront wingfest at pier 8 on Friday and Saturday noon till 9pm, in the art tent, booth 23.
Details are here.
All the best!