Good Friday was a gloriously sunny day in south Warwickshire.
In the afternoon I went for a lovely walk. On the way home I called in to a friend’s house just as her three daughters were coming out into their garden with little baskets ready to start their traditional Easter egg hunt.
The girls were laughing and excited….even in their teens.
So was their mum.
She had spent the afternoon finding imaginative places to hide all sorts of brightly coloured little chocolate eggs. She was now sat on a bench barely able to contain her delight as first one of her daughters then another would spot something sparkling in amongst some leaves or peeking out from behind a plant pot. They in turn rushed around eagerly looking for the next foil wrapped piece of treasure.
I was reminded of a lovely saying that I keep hearing in the ABCD community
A gift is not a gift until it is shared
I’m sure some of those carefully placed Easter eggs will have gone undiscovered. As the months pass they will be exposed to sunshine, wind and rain. Birds will peck at them. Insects will crawl over them, soil will gather around them and they will lose their sparkle.
My friend enjoyed hiding the eggs. She enjoyed anticipating her daughters’ delight in finding them but it was in the actual finding of the eggs and the hugs and laughter that resulted from their discovery that the magic happened.
The magic comes from making the connection. From the sharing.
Our communities are full of gifts that never get shared. Like the undiscovered chocolate eggs they lie unknown and unused, quietly fading away. The opportunity to show what skills or talents we have just never seems to arise. The right question is never asked. The tentative offer is not heard or accepted.
It’s such a waste.
That’s why community connectors are talked about with such passion in ABCD circles. They have a very special gift. They are often ‘background people’. Not the person on the stage or holding the microphone at a community gathering. Not the person taking the applause or receiving the award. But the one moving quietly through the throng with the tray of tea; introducing the new comer to the recently bereaved; remembering that Mr Jones can solve the very problem that Mrs Smith was just wrestling with.
Community connectors know that there are gifts behind every door in their community and they get delight in doing their best to see that they are shared.