I’ve just returned home from a seriously magical 24 hour trip to Winnipeg and neighboring towns.
The snafu: Upon my arrival to Winnipeg Airport at midnight last night, I discovered I didn’t have my driver’s license and couldn’t pick up my rental car. I had to get to my hotel, sleep, be ready for, and get to three assemblies in schools for 1500 kids bright and early the next morning. And, total travel time between the schools, hotel, and airport would be about 3 hours, so cabs were not an option.
The solution: In the most odd, yet perfect series of events, strangers stepped forward to help me get to where I needed to go, like little angels placed one after another, insisting that no was not an option.
The first woman to help was Christine, the 40-year-old spunky blond dentist and Winnipeg native I sat next to on the plane, and others included a Holiday Inn shuttle driver, Cindy the rental car company employee, Neil the new dad and school principal, and Ryan, a social worker with a passion for mid-century architecture, who made sure I fueled up on the finest local pickerel and chips before my final assembly.
During our lengthy chat on the plane, Christine had told me that Winnipeg was the home of the friendliest people, and I was not to worry as I would be taken great care of. I had no idea exactly how right she would be!
All I knew sitting at the airport car-less at midnight was that I would first have to make it to my hotel. Two people offered rides there. Then, two people offered rides to the first school. And another to the second school and so on. Each person was beyond gracious and generous, demanding I know that I wasn’t putting him/her out at all, and in the end, I believe that each was left fulfilled with a gift as well.
Would you believe even that Sheila, the waitress at the little pickerel and chips restaurant, has a sister who works at a hotel less than a mile from my house, and I was able to bring home a gift and card from Sheila to hand-deliver to her sister here in San Diego?
I loved talking to these different people I would have otherwise never met. Mostly, I was given a 24 hour injection of heart-felt generosity. People taking care of people because they could.
I think about how I once felt like I needed to do everything myself, and these days I continue to learn not only how handling everything on one’s own is not sustainable, but more, how much more magic and potential is available in the reciprocity of being of service and being served. We need both to create true fulfillment within ourselves as well as strong networks among each other.
Never once did I panic. I just allowed, and how amazing to see people and support just show up when I had no idea how it would happen. It just did.