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Hug #43

June 5, 2011

Hug #43
Sunday, May 22, 1-2 pm
Garfield Park Conservatory, Central Park and Lake

A Picnic. With Plants. Our Hug is on the front sidewalk, and we packed a picnic for the back when we are finished. Enjoyed the bike ride down to Garfield Park, and when we get there many families are coming in and out, carrying little seedlings ready to become sprouts and then flowers. One family stops for a long time by the sign and one by one they come over and hug us. One girl drops her little sprout twice, and her and her mother carefully repack the dirt into the small containers. They are slow and methodical about it, but in the girls’ excitement, the pot just gets dropped again. No one seems frustrated by it. They do a group Hug and smile and laugh and Hug again. A group of ladies stand near us in their dresses and heels and talk about praying and God and don’t even notice us. I find that fascinating. They are close enough that I hear every word of their conversation, but they are deep in their discussions. Its fine by me, just a curious thing.

We meet a young man named Ceaser who is coming to the park to meet a group he found online to meditate with. He is early, and I think a bit nervous. He says he could feel our energy way down the block and he means it. Later, when we are having a picnic in the park we see him again and he stops to ask us more about our project. We ask him to join us and he does. We sit and talk about family, religion, meditation, friends. He is really open and radically different from his peers. He is looking for something more substantial to feel, to hold on to. Doesnt want to get caught up in the gang scene or the drug scene, so he is looking for something else. The time he is supposed to meet his group comes and goes. Its strange they dont show up, they had seen us and told us about it to, when Aurora and I had just set up to Hug. So the three of us decide to sit and meditate together. We sit by the labyrinth, on the south side of the main building, on the tall backed wooden benches. We sit for about fifteen minutes, eyes closed, in silence, breathing together. And I felt full.

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