Wise Old Soul
It’s that time of year in the Sonoran Desert: when we see lots of these guys wandering about. I spotted a small desert tortoise last week as I was running one of the dusty trails on our property, and also this larger fella a few days ago:
The first time I wrote about desert tortoises, I was reminded of the “slow and steady wins the race” mantra they conjure from Aesop’s fables. But this time, looking into the golden eyes of the Gopherus Agassizii, his gaze dismissive, his head nod slow, I was moved by the knowingness he exuded.
I’m not sure if it’s the deep crevices etched into his face, the hard set of his jaw, or his determined resolve to graze on the tender shoots of monsoon-fed grass (despite my intrusion) … But he exuded nobility to me and this sense that he was to be commended – revered – even. He’s earned every one of those wrinkles and wedges, and deserves praise for surviving in such an unforgiving environment.
For Readers, Writers: Fiction (and life) often brings us these wise souls – mentor archetypes – who impart wisdom. What books have you read that feature the notable “wise old soul” character? Do you think this archetype is integral to every story or just some stories? Does he or she have to be “old?” Writers – have you scribed these sages into your own works? Tell us about them.