When I meditate, I often see spirit animals, and yesterday it was the sea turtle. The vision I had of her was the slow crawl from sea to sand to lay her eggs.
I’ve had the privilege to witness this in real life, and it felt both excruciating and exhilarating. Turtle Mama’s arduous journey up the beach was unbearably slow, then she’d get knocked back by a wave and have to begin again almost from where she started. Finally, she made it to the spot where she’d dig a nest and lay her eggs, and I felt like cheering!
So, I knew what my animal guide was trying to convey to me: patience. I’ve been struggling bit with that lately. It seems that the coronavirus in general, and my daughter’s bout with it specifically, have thrown me off my timeline for some things I wanted to accomplish. I’m a few months away from turning 60, and I feel like I need to get on with my work or I may not have time to do everything I want to do! And even though, in my opinion, I live in paradise, the fact that I’m isolating makes me feel trapped. I feel dull, stagnant, un-creative. None of this is actual hardship, yet still, I’m impatient.
As I admit this to myself, I remember the concept of kairos–an ancient Greek word meaning “the right, critical or opportune moment.” The root of the word traces back to an association with archery and weaving. For example, in archery, kairos is the exact moment when an arrow is fired with sufficient force to penetrate a target. The other word the Greeks used for time was chronos, or chronological time. But kairos was used to denote the perfect moment.
Author Meggan Watterson describes chronos as “ego time” and kairos as “sacred time,” as in the soul works on its own timeframe and it’s not likely to be chronological. Here’s what she has to say: “Kairos is aligned with the highest truth for our lives, and being aligned with kairos means not always getting what we want when we want it. Kairos is the sacred time needed for us to meet with not only what fulfills us but also what fulfills a need in the world. Kairos works on our soul’s timing, not the laminated timetable the ego has set up for our life. Kairos–time allows things to unfold naturally; nothing is forced or contrived into being out of fear.”
The Hawaiian Honu, or sea turtle, is a symbol of wisdom and good luck in the form of an Amakua, or ancestral guardian spirit. Wise Honu knows that steady, faithful movement can result in the manifestation of our dreams in perfect timing. She is teaching me that slowing down, being patient and savoring “the now” opens me to kairos.
They say that when Mama Sea Turtle finally makes it to shore, she lays up to 100 eggs. After incubation, all the eggs hatch at virtually the same time in what is described as a “turtle boil.” Then the all babies find their way together down to the ocean guided by the reflection of the moon and stars on the water. Kairos.