A Bucket List

What is a bucket list? A bucket list is a list of experiences and/or achievements one hopes to accomplish/complete before their time on earth expires. A to-do list before you “kick the bucket” per say.

Everyone has a bucket list. Some create an actual list, post it on the fridge and as the years go by, cross off their experiences and achievements one-by-one. Others create vision boards depicting all they hope to see come true, some verbally express the things they wish to do before their death, and others keep their list all to themselves, as a mental checklist. No method is more effective than another. They are all someone’s hopes and wishes and all matter!

The most important thing about a bucket list is one-by-one seeing the items taking shape and coming into your physical. This is an experience and/or achievement you’ve hoped/wished/prayed for, waited on, longed for, mentally prepared for and yet somehow it is way better than your mind could have ever imagined it to be. Crossing an item of your bucket list is literally a dream coming true.

My bucket list is quite lengthy. Some items I prefer to keep private and others I’d scream from the nearest rooftop. One experience that has been on my list for many, many years is to see nesting Sea Turtles. And most recently, I was able to cross it off! I was able to sit in the sand next to a big, beautiful Mama as she nested and laid her eggs. And what an incredible experience it was! The whole adventure was more than I had ever thought it could be.

On a preserved island, untouched by man, dark from no electricity, there she was! A massive Loggerhead Sea Turtle emerging from the sea. Slowly fin by fin, she made her way toward the dunes looking for that perfect spot. And when she found it, her digging began. She dug a deep egg chamber to lay her eggs. And slowly contraction by contraction, she laid approximately 100-120 perfect eggs. Deep down in the sand, this egg chamber would be their haven for the next 50-60 days before emerging into the world as hatchlings. And I got to see it all from less than an arm’s length away. On my knees next to her in the sand, l watched each egg drop into the chamber. The only sounds were that were that of a whisper, the crashing of the waves onto the shoreline, and Mama’s labored breathing. Complete mindfulness.

But she wasn’t done. Now it was time to camouflage the nest. Mama worked tirelessly covering up any traces of where the egg chamber lies; spraying sand in all directions until her eggs were fully protected and her tracks were covered. Then making a large U-turn, she began her trek back into the sea. Fin by fin, she propelled herself toward the white caps. And after a few well-deserved breaks along the way, she made it to the surf. This Mama was exhausted. And when the next wave crashed, it lifted her up and just like a floating boulder she drifted away, back out to the deep, dark sea.

This bucket list experience was bigger and better than I ever imagined it to be. Thank you, John D. MacArthur Beach State Park (John D. MacArthur Beach State Park Welcome), for giving me this experience. You didn’t disappoint – Mama was amazing!  The time, energy and wealth of knowledge shared by the team members was incredible. I commend each of you for the efforts you are taking to save the turtles and educate the world. I promised to tell my friends and that’s exactly what I am doing.

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