It’s a scant 10 minutes past daybreak as I navigate the 3 miles from garage to work. I’m rattling around the day’s activities in my head – facilitating a process to create an amazing resource for building the kind of community where people on the fringes can find restoration.
Tonight is an Appreciative Inquiry Summit, a fancy name for what’s essentially conversations worth having. You know the type: conversations that birth innovation and connection, positivity and meaningful change. It’s a solemn, exciting, and totally rewarding responsibility for me and my business partner Lucas – to be midwives for this program, Restoration Journey.
Of course, lost in thought means I’m not present in the moment, but as I top the small rise and clear the stand of trees on my left, the rising sun flares, lighting the sky and revealing … dolphins. Yeah, in Ohio. Dolphins in the form of morning clouds, leaping gracefully across the sky, not unlike their ocean-living counterparts.
Believe me, when I see dolphins in the sky, I take notice. Here’s why:
Dolphins live in pods that can be huge interconnected communities. They’re also quite selfless. They care for young, sick, or injured community members. They work and play together (talk about self-love and wholeness). Community matters, and it makes them stronger than they would be on their own.
Dolphins communicate through clicks and whistles. You might say they have conversations that matter with their pod-mates, their family members, their youngsters, and with that shark they’re warning off. Maybe even with humans.
After all, dolphins have a long and documented history of saving us from drowning, from shark attacks, from shipwrecks. They’ve also been known to help stranded fish. So not only do they care for their own community, but they also care for those outside their community.
Native Americans say dolphins guard the People, while the Celts believed they represent healing and new beginnings: the end of one “life” and rebirth to something better. The Ancient Greeks believed the dolphin spirit carried the spirits of the dead to the next reality. Symbolically speaking, dolphins transform lives, bear witness to and usher in rebirth and renewal, and signal the opening of one door when another one closes.
So today, I am grateful for the presence of dolphins in my morning sky. I choose to believe they are there as a sign that this evening’s conversations ARE worth having and the work Lucas and I have put into helping Restoration Journey become a reality is good and right and appropriate. All because of this: the whole goal of Restoration Journey, at least what captivated me, is what every dolphin lives for: community, transition, support, and renewal from one life to another – the life that’s just behind that open door!
Addendum: Uh, wow. What insight, what sharing, what information we received from the community members who came to the Summit, aka Conversations That Matter! I continue to be amazed at how whoever shows up is perfect, and what we need is always right there in the room. It certainly was true tonight.