Florida Weekly Column

Hidden in Plain Sight

Hidden in Plain Sight

My youngest child is 15 years old now so Easter egg hunts have gone by the wayside. I considered hiding cash in plastic eggs all over the yard this year to revive the tradition but decided I might be setting a bad trend.

Luckily I got word right before our Easter visit that I was going to be able to report to duty on an egg hunt for my nephew’s 3-year-old daughter.

When she came to the door at the appointed time for our adventure she was clutching a hunt worthy basket and proclaimed “ I hear you have eggs here” and it was on. No small talk, no ham eating or Easter page coloring – it was straight to the back yard.

I didn’t actually get to hide the eggs as that honor was reserved for her grandfather but I did happily follow her around as she discovered plastic eggs tucked away in their hiding places.

She was a solo hunter so there were none of those awful stories you hear every year of parents and kids knocking each other out of the way to try and grab the plastic orbs.

As she hunted she opened each egg and popped whatever treat was inside directly into her mouth. (I knew I liked her style) and happily moved on to the next egg.

What was most interesting to me was how she zeroed in on the out of the way eggs rather than those scattered about in plain sight. She literally would step over an egg on the lawn to reach for one tucked in a tree stump or perched on a birdhouse.

There had been quite a bit of conversation before she arrived about the degree of difficulty of the hiding spots. Some in the family thought keeping them obvious was the best strategy while others lobbied for a greater challenge siting her advanced intelligence (I think that was the great grandmother and Nana). But they were right, she enjoyed the challenging hiding spots that culminated with a head first dive under a camellia bush to snag the big prize egg. It was impressive.

When we asked her about those eggs on the lawn she smiled and grabbed them and seemed almost surprised to find them there.

The whole thing was a blast and brought back great memories of when my kids were young.

On our trip home I thought about how many times I miss things that are available to me that are right in plain sight while I spend time trying to figure out more complicated scenarios.

How many times in my work at the Southwest Florida Community Foundation have I been guilty of being so focused on designing something new to address a community issue that I miss a solution that is easily within reach.

I remember last year when a group of leaders and philanthropists were meeting about how to make a Community Center safer for young women and girls. We had developed all kinds of complicated strategies. But when one of our team members interviewed the girls that frequented the Center they simply said that they’d feel more secure if cameras were mounted outside the building. It was so obvious but we had missed it.

This happens with needs as well. Sometimes we feel as if we must travel away from our daily lives to find great need when actually it might be right in front of us. A homebound neighbor in need of food or someone we work with going through a difficult time. They are hidden in plain sight.

I know my Easter egg hunting days are behind me but this week I think I will pay a little more attention to the things right in front of me. If you’ve missed an Easter egg or two yourself this year, send me an email at [email protected].

As leaders, conveners, grant makers and concierges of philanthropy, the Southwest Florida Community Foundation is a foundation built on community leadership with an inspired history of fostering regional change for the common good in Lee, Collier, Charlotte, Hendry and Glades counties. The Community Foundation, founded in 1976, connects donors and their philanthropic aspirations with evolving community needs. With assets of more than $93 million, the Community Foundation has provided more than $63 million in grants and scholarships to the communities it serves. Last year, it granted more than $3.2 million to nonprofit organizations supporting education, animal welfare, arts, healthcare and human services, as well as provided regional community impact grants and scholarship grants.

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