I've worn many hats over the years, all of them colorful; optician, educator, caregiver, volunteer for human and animal causes alike and have found joy and adventure all along the way.
I didn't go searching for this glorious adventure as a Fairy Podmother, rather it came searching for me in the form of a beautiful family of dolphins in April of 2017.
I remember the day well, it was an early Sunday evening on a lovely day at my home in Florida. We all have those "November in my soul" days, however, even in paradise, and it brought a damp chill to my heart.
You know those dark moments, when you remember every mistake you've ever made and can't shake the fear and doubt that you're never going to be quite good enough or make the difference you hope to in this world.
I poured it all out in a silent prayer and stood next to my lab, Candy, on the sea wall as the sun began it's descent. We'd been spotting manatees all week and we were both visibly disappointed when we scanned the channel and came up empty handed. I said to Candy, "I guess we're fresh out of miracles! We can't be greedy." I laughed as we started to turn back towards the house together.
That's when I caught sight of three little fins over by the mangroves, across the channel from us. I looked at my kayak, sitting dry on the dock, and back at the dolphins playing together.
I sighed, exhausted and cold from my swim and said to Candy, "Maybe that tiny baby will come right over here."
Just then, the three switched direction suddenly as if they heard me and made a beeline for us.
"Obi-Wan Kenobi" ain't got nothin' on me, Candy!" I laughed as they swam close to us by my neighbor's dock.
Tears filled my eyes when I saw mama, little one and tiny baby close to her side. Like a small child, I couldn't contain my excitment. I screamed with delight.
Well, my powers in the Force aren't quite as developed as I had hoped, and cute little tiny baby didn't swim near us. The adolescent, however, swam directly toward us and swam back and forth in front of the sea wall where we stood. He was seemingly looking up at me with the same fascination I felt for him.
Finally, after several magical moments, the little family moved off together, but they left their mark on me. I smiled through the tears that streamed down my face as I realized what had just transpired.
Moments earlier, I had sent out an S.O.S. in the form of prayer and it was answered by these enchanted visitors, like a message in a bottle.
Little did I know, this serendipitous meeting was just the beginning of a beautiful friendship and journey of a lifetime; one joyfully documented in the photographs and videos you will find here.
As I have spent more time observing the complex social interactions of our local pod, I am more committed than ever to doing all I can to protect them. I hope that my photographs and videography inspire others to feel a connection to them that inspires greater respect for and a desire to protect them, as well.
For the continuing saga of this Fairy Podmother, as well as the 'Story Behind the Photographs," please follow Fairy Podmother Productions on Facebook.
Due to recovering from Hurricane Ian, my gift shop is temporarily closed, but will soon be reopened. When it does, you will find special moments with my Fairy Pod Children captured in time. Unique photographs and gifts that will inspire, enlighten and motivate.