A Note Inside the Turtle


I noted the three Mayan Indian women when I first entered the village that morning.

They were sitting on the ground, and laid out in front of them on blankets were the hand-made woven treasures that they were selling. At that moment, I was on an exploration mission, so I promised them I would be back later in the day.

I would keep my promise.

I was in Placencia...a charming fishing village in Belize. If you're looking for a timeout from the world, this is an "A+" place to go. The beaches are as pure as any I have ever seen, and you just feel like smiling as you walk along them. Feeling good here is automatic, and it may be hard to ever leave if you do visit. 

I'm just warning you now.

At the day's end, I circled back to the three women. I discovered that it had been a slow sales day for them, so I was intent on making it less slow. I examined their hand-made woven wares, and as I did, I simultaneously received a lesson on how they were created using long, slender leaves from a rainforest-found palm.

It was memory-making time for me...so I bought a memory from each of them.

As the four of us spent time chatting and laughing, I was also quick to engage with other potential buyers who walked by. I was a huge fan of these three dedicated entrepreneurs who were barely surviving, and so to the delight of my new Mayan friends, I became a "sales associate" and created a little "extra" sales buzz. 

More items left the blankets' inventories.

With time's passing, super cool life moments (like this) often start to dim in our memories. I am aware of this, so I sometimes add "trigger" reminders so I can remember certain moments better in the future. 

I would do this now.

One of the items I purchased was a small, 3-inch long woven turtle. The turtle separates when pulled apart leaving a small inner space. I kindly asked the woman who had made and sold me the turtle if she would please slip a message inside so I could always remember her and this moment. 

She did.

In unpacking after returning home, I pulled out the little turtle from Belize. I remembered what the meaning of the turtle was to the Mayan people: "Long life.

That's a wish I wish for all of us. 

I then remembered that inside this little turtle guy was a secret message waiting for me to read for the first time. I separated the top and bottom and found my note. I unfolded it.

"Good friends 4 ever. Dorla Salam."

Life gets extra special when we never forget it is extra special.

And now my $7 turtle is priceless.

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Shawn Anderson                                                 (310) 402-4826                                  Shawn@ShawnAnderson.com