[I subscribe to Lisa Bloom’s Kachanga e-zine. When this essay appeared in the last issue, I asked her if I could post it here. You can find more of Lisa’s blog entries here. I love it that the Web can link us around the world. Lisa lives in Israel. I live in Canada. We connected via the Web.]
It’s been an incredibly busy couple of weeks and so for the first time in months, I actually missed a week of writing. What was I doing? Celebrating mostly!!! And a lot of cooking and hosting for Passover, and it’s given me some time to think about the stories that we celebrate, the Passover story is a great example!
I have met so many amazing people that have undergone an exodus from slavery in their lives. The slavery to a mismatched career and job that they hate, the slavery of a loveless relationship, the slavery of the search for the perfect person that will fill the void, the slavery to money and materialism that is empty of any meaning or fulfillment. And they have gone on a journey to freedom—it is one of the most inspiring stories you can hear!
Often slavery is hard to identify; it lies hidden in the desires and dreams that we imagine, it lurks in the lives we create when we forget our values or get tricked into leading someone else’s life.
And Freedom? Sometimes it is not where we expect. It may not be in a job, a place or a person.
Freedom must be within, from somewhere deep inside of each and every one of us—definable only by each person for themselves.
The weekend before Passover, we went to Eilat on the Red Sea for the weekend. We traveled through the desert by car to get there. The drive was spectacular. It never ceases to amaze me how colorful the desert terrain can be. The different shades of brown, yellow and red are dazzling, and as we stopped just past half way for a coffee and stretch, I was surprised by the cold evening air as the desert night drew in.
The boys shared hot chocolates, I had a nice, creamy cappuccino and we munched on the sandwiches I had prepared for the journey. We arrived in Eilat via the mountain road so the first view the kids got of the place was the rows of lights way down below that stretched across the valley to Akaba in Jordan. They were so excited to finally reach Eilat after the long journey.
Next morning we went to the Dolphin Reef. It’s an amazing place. Living there are eight dolphins that have experienced the ‘Open Sea Project’. The sea enclosure, a netted area they live in, was opened up so that the dolphins could choose to come and go as they please.
The project was very successful but ended a few years ago, as the ability to protect the dolphins in the open sea area of the bay was becoming more and more challenging, and financial resources were short.
The interaction between the trainers and the dolphins is one of mutual affection and respect. When they feed the dolphins, they play with them and check that they are well. They explained to us all about them, each one’s name and character, and answered any questions we had.
It is truly an awe-inspiring experience to be close to these amazing creatures.
I was lucky enough to go diving in the dolphin enclosure. It was the first time I had been diving in over 10 years so just getting back to the quiet and weightless sensation of diving was wonderful. But then, to be sharing this sea space with these amazing creatures was a blessing.
My first impression was how big the dolphins are. As they swam by, they seemed enormous. And then I noticed the sounds they make and how incredibly fast they swim. And of course, the fact that they are smiling all the time! How can you not love this playful, swift, elegant, smiling giant as it glides by upside down clicking away.
The dolphins choose to go out to the open sea but return to the enclosure each time. They have formed relationships with the people at the dolphin reef who feed them and take care of them. These are the people who love them and care for them. They are not forced to do tricks or to entertain. They are given the freedom to exist in the most natural state possible.
I received a great gift when I dived with the dolphins, the gift that nature grants us when we pay attention, the gift of freedom to enjoy the beauty and wonder that is all around us.
Perhaps this is the best explanation of freedom. We are free when we are encouraged to be our true selves, when we have the right and the ability to choose where we want to live. We are free when we choose to recognize the magnificence that surrounds us.
We are free when we dare to venture out to the open sea and then choose to come home.
Here’s to exodus from slavery and the journey to freedom. Happy Easter and Passover!
Best Wishes and Best Stories!
[Please feel free to download Lisa’s e-Book ‘5 Common Mistakes People Make that a Good Story Can Fix’ at Story Coach].