In northern British Columbia about a year ago I was driving between two of my offices, Terrace and Prince George ( a short little 600km commute) and before I left Terrace my people said to me "watch for the Spirit Bear, they've seen him around Cedarville".
Sure. And I'll watch for the Sasquatch and the Yeti. Because I've lived there a long time and seen hundreds of bears. Black bears, grizzly bears, Alaska browns. Never seen a Spirit Bear - a Kermode. In fact my theory is that one time some guy saw a spirit bear and took his picture and it's that one, the same bear they put on the calendar year after year. One bear.
So I'm driving along beside the Skeena River with the highway to myself and as I came around a corner - there in the grass by the side of the road was the Spirit Bear. He was a huge, big fat, magnificent Spirit Bear. I was so excited I nearly squealed as I pulled my van over and shut it off to be quiet. My window down and it was just me and the bear. I just watched him. I could hear the river, and the leaves rustling in the springtime wind. I could hear him chortling to himself, making bear noises. Every once in awhile he looked up at me, and then he wandered off in the trees and he was gone. Like a spirit.
I wanted so much to tell someone, but there was no cell service in that remote northern area. I drove 45 minutes down the road and I found a little pocket of cell service love, so I pulled over and I emailed a picture I had taken with my blackberry, a picture of my bear. I emailed it to my colleagues, to my leadership group, to my field staff team, to my dispatch team, to my community.
And the message I sent with it said, I've just spent half an hour with the Spirit Bear. It was magic!
In a community we share our challenges and our setbacks. We share our successes.
And we share our magic.