Throughout our stand today, people enter the piazza carrying square foam mats as blue as as the sky above us.
Several wear bright blue or yellow jackets. Some also wear brilliant yellow baseball caps with matching scarves.
Though they arrive, many of them, in smiling groups of two, three or four, they do not speak to one another. They seem contemplative.
Are they part of a class, or on a scavenger hunt? As the hour progresses and more and more enter the piazza, it is clear they are on their way to a meeting.
Near the end of our stand, Sharon grabs my hand and gestures behind us.
There, sitting in tidy rows on cushions, perhaps 75-100 people silently move their arms in graceful gestures akin to the gestures of Tai Chi or Chi Gong. Faint strains of meditation music waft across the piazza.
Our timers go off, gently reminding us that our one-hour stand is complete. As a man approaches us carrying one of the sky blue mats, I beg his pardon and ask if he can tell us a bit about this gathering.
We are practicing Falun Dafa, he says, a Chinese meditation and healing practice that is widely gaining followers around the world. He hands us a brochure, invites us to participate, should we choose.
I feel love and the sweetest joy at finding so many people coming out on a Saturday morning to make peace in the piazza. What hope for our world!
Text and image © L Kathryn Grace – All rights reserved