My sister, Karen, called the other day to let me know that she and her family had safely returned home from their vacation. They had driven 12 hours to North Carolina beaches looking for a little rest and to take a look at a few colleges along the way for their 17-year-old daughter, Sarah. Karen described an experience they had on the beach that touched her deeply, and it really struck a chord with me too.
As she and her family rode their bikes and walked the shoreline, they noticed turtle nests on the dunes. She was told by beach patrol that the nests housed loggerhead turtle eggs. She was also told that the eggs mostly hatched at night. So, it was a special surprise when, one afternoon, a boy was walking by the nests and saw a baby turtle plow his way out from under the sand and make its way toward the sunshine. The boy watched as the infant struggled to make its long journey from nest to water. What happened next inspired a community of perfect strangers to join together in a common effort and cause. The little boy instinctively watched over the baby, he hovered over it as he followed it across the beach, shielding it from the seagulls who had begun to gather for a potential turtle feast. The little boy chaperoned the turtle all the way across the white sand until it found the water and began to swim.
Within minutes, more turtles hatched. More people flocked to the beach and worked together to guard each and every baby as they made the heroic journey to the sea. Three hours later, more than 100 baby loggerheads had made it safely to the ocean due to the kindness and compassion of roughly 30 beach lovers.