Oh, the amazement one feels to come face to face with a wild sea turtle for the very first time. And, to be a youngster when that happens…. life changing!
Our Bahamian friends took this picture of their daughter while snorkeling at Sandy Cay Reef (Pelican Cays National Park). I saw it on Facebook and HAD to paint her. She was in a state of underwater wonder WITHOUT the turtle, so I imagined this meeting of two young creatures and their reciprocal feelings.
I grew up underwater thanks to my diving dad, and remember the amazement I felt seeing these “foreign” creatures that live below the surface. Their numbers have fallen rapidly over the last decades since then, and so many creatures, large and small, are at the brink of extinction, if not gone altogether.
But recently, it’s as if the world is finally realizing that non-human creatures do have a viable existence. And it’s about time. Game hunting and killing for sport is thankfully becoming passé. People are finally looking at other species with recognition and acknowledgement of their being. The Bahamian government banned the taking of any sea turtle a few years ago.
This trend needs to continue, expand and strengthen; attitudes of “disposable” animals and mindless killing and abuse need to be gone. Even in the sixties, the call to “save the world for the children” was broadcast, but to deaf ears. Let’s keep saying it, and learn to love, cherish and care for all of God’s creatures.
P.S. One year later:
It’s better in the Bahamas!!!