How differently men and women see things never ceases to amaze me. Their different outlooks show in the most unexpected places.
After laying a clutch of eggs, loggerhead turtles abandon them to their fate. From late spring to the end of summer, Department of Natural Resources volunteers keep watch for these nests down the Atlantic coastline. I’m currently on vacation in Edisto Beach and accompanied my youngest daughter to a “turtle inventory”. This is where a DNR volunteer excavates a recently hatched nest (five days after the first baby turtles break free). During the excavation, they keep close track on various numbers. This is done in order to determine the success rate of hatchlings and to gather various statistical data on this endangered species.
Along with about thirty other people, we watched with fading hope as a series of unbroken eggs were retrieved from the nest. Turns out a storm brought high tides which drowned most of the eggs in this particular nest. With the crowd’s mood somber, most of the smaller children moved away. After about five minutes of bad news, made more so by realization of the apparent callousness of nature, the DNR volunteer withdrew a baby turtle. Its immediately recognizable shape galvanized some of the parents to call back their children.
Forever interested in human nature, I listened as a woman called out to her daughter, “They found a baby turtle, it isn’t alive.” A moment, and a man called to his, “They found a turtle, it’s dead.”
The girls were of similar age, as were their parents. The thing the parents said is the same. Essentially. Perhaps what each child heard was similarly the same, but perhaps it was not.