I’m baack! It’s been awhile since writing in this arena. Over the last fourteen months I’ve dipped my toes in a variety of community efforts – tracking and reporting on local government activity, helping a local charter school find its way through getting up and running, and navigating ‘Ohana Oasis through COVID-19.
This year was to be a turning point in the growth of ‘Ohana Oasis. We were going to host two retreats simultaneously, each led by ‘Ohana Oasis alumni facilitators who’d gone through extensive training. It’s definitely proven to be a turning point for the organization, however not in the ways I’d expected. First, no matter how well we’d laid out the plans, at every turn it wasn’t working to do two retreats at once. When I hit closed doors like that I listen. I understand that, whether or not I can see the reasons why, it’s the universe leading in another direction. So we went with one retreat.
Planning for the one retreat went great! The facilitator assembled a group of parents, a house was reserved, the plane tickets purchased, and volunteers deployed to take on different aspects of making the retreat a special experience for the parents coming. Then a pandemic hit. The retreat was cancelled with the hopes we could move it from Spring to Fall. When it became clear that wouldn’t work, we went ahead and set the date for next April, on almost the same dates a year later than originally planned.
The retreat wasn’t the only thing impacted by the pandemic our signature fundraising event was also cancelled. Clearly this year has become a turning point for the organization, not in the way we envisioned, but a turning point nonetheless. And that’s not the end of the story, because when a door closes, a window opens.
After several months of sitting with the unanticipated changes I asked for direction and open windows. And boy have they shown up! Within a week, the opportunity to create a virtual version of our retreats almost fell in my lap. The more I work on it, the more excited I am – for how many more people can be reached through this medium, to see the possibilities for growth moving forward, and for me personally to be doing this work again. To be sharing thoughts, tips, tools and experience. To be writing from my heart to yours. To have an outlet for sharing the new things I continue to learn.
So while this year had other ideas for ‘Ohana Oasis and has upturned all of my plans both personally and professionally, it holds new promise and life. I feel so incredibly blessed to be back here, connecting with you all.