Meet Splicer, a Redfoot tortoise. Since he is a rescue, his age is unknown. Although there are ways of figuring this out, we haven’t taken the opportunity to do so; but we have been told that he will live to be 50-75 years old.
Reptiles, the bigger category that Splicer belongs to, are one of the most ancient forms of life. They have survived for millions of years–and probably relatively unchanged. He is the picture of being grounded–he is slow and methodical. He doesn’t need to rush; he lives as if he has all the time in the world.
His needs are few–fresh food, water and a habitat he is comfortable in. He carries his home on his back. In contrast to cartoon-land, he cannot step out of his home–his home is his life. I believe it is actually his backbone and ribs.
He can right himself if he accidentally flips onto his back–he will use his strong neck and head to work himself back onto his feet. It is not a fast technique but it is productive, successful and a tribute to his self-reliance.
He enjoys messing up the plants that I so carefully set up the way I think he wants them to be. He uses them as a covering, snoozing peacefully, undisturbed. He will eat when he is hungry; he enjoys slowly munching on kale, and he is especially fond of papaya, carrots and apples. If he happens to see some bananas in his food dish, he does seem to move a little faster…
In the near future, he will no doubt find his way into one of my everyday inspirations. In the meantime, some thoughts on living long and living well–from the eyes of a tortoise:
Splicer’s Tips for Longevity
stay connected to what you love
use your own knowledge and strengths when your world is turned upside down–don’t rely on a quick fix to get you back on track
take time to enjoy your meals and add some extra fruit and vegies every day
although you do not have all the time in the world; proceed as if you do–re-evaluate your relationship with time
pay attention so you do not miss opportunities
don’t forget who won the race