I head out the door to the beach mildly troubled. Creative angst. Unsettled, a little, not yet feeling “home” and my writing group tonight, I’ll attend remotely, and I have no poem and no hope of one. I will have to show up empty handed, or sit down and come up with something. As soon as I cross the narrow stretch of sand, I see the first fin blink above the surface. Dolphin! I see one, and then two, so briefly. I see the surface ruffle, and then the rise, there are three, there are four, so close to shore, if I was in the cold water we could almost be touching. I had planned to walk south down the beach. The dolphins are swimming north, and so I walk that way. And I walk all the way up to the bridge into Bradenton, crossing a place called Beer Can Island, with windblown waterwashed sticks and stumps, stark against the gray clouded sky. Once I return, I make myself quiet. I sit and write and scratch out a first draft, and there’s a little I love, and a lot that needs work, but it’s begun. Seeing the dolphins is how I changed. Opening to the possibility of surprise.