If you have flown in airplanes much you may have learned to detect that precise moment when the pilot slows the plane and prepares for descent.
Its a certain change in the hum of the engine....a slight change.....
A few minutes later they announce the plane to be on final descent to the destination.
And the passengers perk up and pack up and prepare for arrival.
I felt that moment.....that moment where the journey goes from level to nose down......when the final destination comes tangibly close.
After an incredibly hard week in many, many ways.......despite careful and meticulous preparation the aforementioned hurdles plus the illness of my trusty sidekick and right hand colleague for the whole week meant a week of running hard.
There were times is was comedic - the number of people needing my attention, the random people showing up to do unscheduled things (like turn off the water for 6 hours just before all the children and families arrived for their first visit!!!), the never ending lists the staff teams kept generating for me to get and do, answering hundreds of questions....... one of the new staff exclaimed in frustration one afternoon "Nicky....we just need another one of you so we can get things done around here!"......OK then!
I was at work before 6am twice and after 6pm twice. I am surprised I haven't walked a pathway around the building and up and down the stairs. The Mazda and I ran errand upon errand.
But on Friday afternoon at 2:30pm I sent everyone upstairs and I turned down the lights downstairs, lit some candles, put on some music and put some driftwood sculptures in each room (that Lindsay and I salvaged from the river at 8pm the night before) and together the staff, their families, my family, staff from across the SRCC, a Board member.... we took time to quietly walk through the space and write down our hopes and dreams for the children, for the families and for the staff in each room and we tied them on to the driftwood.
The staff had a space to write themselves a letter that I will send them 6 months from now when the newness and freshness has worn off and the work is the work......they took time to put their thoughts down on paper.
It was in these sacred and special moments I heard the tone of the engine change.....I knew we were coming in for a landing soon......and as the staff and families left and I cleaned up the rooms.....I felt the emotion rising.......tired..... bone tired, achy tired, brain tired......and yet proud, delighted, relieved ......so much accomplished....so much to offer the community, such an amazing place.... the work of so many people ......and ready...licensed and ready to welcome families and children and to do the work of "Changing the world by Honouring Childhood" .
I lived into my vision this week - a rare opportunity - a growing and challenging time......but one from which I learned so much and for which I am actually grateful (or I will be after I sleep for a week).
As the tears flowed at home last night as I fell into the warm and sustaining embrace of my family ...I knew we had made it.....the landing is coming and we are going to be alright.
Thanks for being on the journey with me.