“Imagine this: you are walking alone on a beach at 12AM on a peaceful summer night, guided only by the beaming light of a full moon… you can hear the waves kissing the shoreline in suave motions, at times even daring to touch the tip of your soles. Your feet guide you down the shoreline, slowly pressing into the cold sand that covers your toes like sprinkles. Somewhere, not too far away in the distant night you can hear the quiet song of the nightingale and the crickets’ midnight concert. The cold night’s air fills your lungs and clears your troubled mind. You look up and see billions upon billions of little lights, stars which reassure you that you are never alone in this universe. One upon another you start to recognize them: Orion’s belt, the Big Dipper sitting below the Ursa minor, at times even the Scorpio…”
This is one short description I registered in my journals over the summer, talking about what my night patrols in La Ventanilla looked and felt like. Every night we would go out on the tiny bank of sand which separated the lagoon from the Pacific ocean and looked for turtle eggs. It was the peak seasons when these marvellous creatures were coming to lay their eggs nearby our beaches and we were ready to protect them from poachers. Usually the night patrols took place at 12AM, 3AM or 5AM the latest. We would walk for two hours, 8, maybe 10km every time and sometimes it was all for nothing, other times we would get lucky and see the wonderful U-shape traced by the turtle on the beach, marking her nest. My first encounter with a turtle nest ravished me with emotion, knowing that now, I was the one protecting these little creatures. Sometimes we would go out with tourists and it was mesmerizing to see them experience the exact same feeling as I had, their faces lightning up with wonder and curiosity.
This was one of my favourite parts of the time I spent in Mexico. All those long walks on quiet nights served not only the purpose of rescuing little turtle eggs, but more so liberating my mind and soul. At some stage in our lives we all have to go for a night walk on the beach, by ourselves and just look at the stars and remember who we are.