Sunday, October 22, 2006

Dolphin Watch

"Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful, we must carry it
with us or we find it not."
- Ralph Waldo Emerson

Eileen's commute to school each day exhausted her. It took her over two bridges and through horrendous traffic. By the time she finally reached her classroom, she was usually frazzled.

She tried leaving home earlier, but because of where she lived, that didn't make any difference. She still found herself sitting on these bridges for an inordinate amount of time.

One Monday morning there was an accident on the bridge. Eileen actually took the car out of gear this time to sit and wait. It was a breezy Florida morning and the stretch of beach along the approach to the bridge attracted morning walkers. I wish I could leave my car behind and walk along the beach myself, Eileen thought.

Suddenly people were getting out of their cars and pointing to the warm Florida waters. Eileen slid out the passenger's door to see what the commotion was. A pod of dolphins was slicing through the waters just offshore.
Eileen was flooded with a sense of wonder and peace.

From that day forward, she saw the slow traffic as a chance to dolphin watch! And that simple observation changed her life.

In the fast pace of life, take time to smell the roses OR watch the dolphins.
Remember not to get so wrapped up in life that you miss the beauty that is all around you.
(from Apples & Chalkdust, Honor Books, 1998)

I wrote that story 10 years ago about my first teaching job back in 1985. Now more than 20 years later, I'm blessed by dolphins again.

I am now teaching at Madeira Beach Middle School and out my window, almost every afternoon, I see dolphins. From this aerial photograph you can see our school. The science building, where I teach, has a dock that leads out into the waterway.

What small wonders have the power to inspire you to persevere?