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The tortoise, turtle, or kame, is honored in many cultures.

In American Indian culture, the turtle represents the wisdom of the ancient ones and is respected for its strength and solidarity. Those who bear the turtle symbol carry the responsibility of caring for, protecting, and nurturing.

The turtle is also the Japanese symbol of longevity and is a kind, honorable, and gentle friend in folk tales.

One of four Chinese sacred animals (among Dragon, Phoenix, and Unicorn), the mythical turtle spends life exploring the universal ocean while carrying the earth on its back. As a creature of two elements, the turtle reflects an ability to adapt and flourish.

The earthbound tortoise is the longest lived animal known. A quiet animal, it does not move by fits and starts, but advances steadily, sharing with all living things a long life of wisdom and joy.

These ideas of the deep and connected journey of life embody the philosophies of the San Francisco Senior Center.


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