Two things happened in the past 24-hours that are worth a few words. The first was hearing a close friend mention that she has been voting for the Safety Harbor Art and Music Center on the Pepsi Refresh site. “They didn’t get in,” I said. “There was a glitch and we have to try again in March for April’s voting.”
She was obviously embarrassed. “Who have I been voting for then?”
“I don’t know, but it’s okay. Vote for worthy causes. Our day will come.”
“I feel so silly,” she said. “I had no idea. I thought I was voting for the Art Center.”
So, if you are like her, and you did not know that the Safety Harbor Art and Music Center is not one of hundreds in the running for a grant, don’t feel bad. It’s going to be okay. We (you, me, us, and them) are going to be creative and think of other ways to find funds. We are going to try the Pepsi thing again in March so everyone can vote in April. We are going to gather the troops and make the dream bigger and better!
And then tonight, as I was sitting in my car in a dark parking lot waiting for my son to get off work, a Chicago area code appeared on the screen as my phone rang. It was a woman I have never met, named Sandi, who had heard about Whimzey in a Presbyterian church’s Sunday message. She was so inspired; she got back to her hotel and began Googling. She wanted to find this place in Safety Harbor where a gazebo is part of the front yard and people like Jeff Daniels can come surprise the locals in order to help a worthy cause. “I found the house. I drove around and just happened to find it. I got to meet Todd and Kiaralinda,” she said. “Kiaralinda gave me your number and said I should call you.”
Her parents are at the point where they need her help to make some major decisions. Tough decisions, I can only imagine. She wanted to give her dad one more Florida winter before bringing him back to the cold. After searching for a local Stephen Minister (someone of the Christian faith who helps those in crisis or in need of comfort, one on one), she found a minister in Clearwater willing to talk to her father. She was touched and decided to attend his church on Sunday. He spoke about the previous night. His wife—a friend of Kiaralinda’s—drug him to a ‘house party’ to see a 'mystery guest.' The congregation laughed, as Sandi said, it was obvious he doesn’t like going out on Saturday nights with a full day of work ahead of him.
What he attended was a concert at Whimzey, hosted by Todd and Kiaralinda. Jeff Daniels, who had originally been scheduled to play at Ruth Eckert Hall, sang, laughed, and talked about how his own dreams have come true.
The minister told his congregation that the night moved him. It reminded him that dreams can come true—that people make it happen. His message was one Sandi needed to hear.
Maybe I’m being too mushy-gushy about our center. Maybe I am thinking that the dream of two artists in a little town is bigger than just a simple dream. It is touching people; reminding them of their own dreams. Amazing things are happening in my life, in the lives of people I admire and love, and in my town. Can it be that when two people believe in dreams coming true, their positive 'vibe' ripples outward?
I certainly think so.