Health care workers make peace in the plaza

Tai Chi Practitioners in Joseph B. Alioto Plaza, 24th Stand, 04/28/2012
Tai Chi Practitioners in Joseph B. Alioto Plaza, 24th Stand, 04/28/2012

24th Stand

The piazza is buzzing with activity this morning. Tents and booths and lots of people coming and going. No sign yet to tell us what it’s all about, but we gather from the t-shirts people are wearing it is a health fair.

We take our stand under the shade of the trees outside the playground.

I feel gratitude for all these volunteers, giving up their Saturday, working to provide information to the thousands of people seeking help here today. Already unloading: Busload after busload of people with canes, people in wheelchairs, people walking as though it hurts.

Will they find what they need today? I pray it may be so, for each and every one.

Behind us and to our right, some of our regulars, as we call the folks we see every week, are practicing Tai Chi, out of the way of the hustle and bustle. A colorfully-clad woman with long red hair joins them, moving strenuously alongside their gentler unified dance.

Sharon and I make eye contact, smiling at the woman’s enthusiasm and her desire to participate.

Someone fires up the sound system attached to enormous speakers. Soon set-up workers, homeless and passersby are dancing to the music as they pass one another. Even as we stand, we tap our toes and sway with the beat.

“Music makes people happy,” Sharon says later, on the way to the train.

Indeed it does. We are grinning ear to ear, as my dear mama says. Our step is light, and we giggle easily, the slight breeze lifting our hair.

Text and image © L Kathryn Grace – All rights reserved

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