Standing alone and in good company

Choi Jeong Hwa’s Breathing Lotus scupture in plane tree grove - 31st stand for peace, June 16, 2012
Choi Jeong Hwa’s Breathing Lotus scupture in plane tree grove – 31st stand for peace, June 16, 2012

31st Stand

Alone today, though I stand in the shade of the playground trees, the sun beats hot on my head. I don my floppy red hat, instantly cooler. Thank heavens for San Francisco breezes!

We wear or carry red every time we stand, signal to any of the supporters who have joined our Grandmothers Stand for Peace Meetup and might show up to join us here today.

A time or two, we’ve noticed another woman standing in the piazza for much of the hour, but none have identified themselves to us.

You might think we would feel discouraged, after thirty-one weeks standing (and occasionally sitting) for peace each Saturday, but speaking for myself, I can say our stands have only encouraged me.

How could we have known, in the beginning, that so many individuals and groups come to this very plaza week after week, for all we know, day after day, in quiet acts of peace?

There are the elderly and middle aged women who are here almost every week practicing Tai Chi. Then there is the beautiful young man I told you about last week who also practices Tai Chi.

At first, we saw the Falun Dafa group only once a month, on the first Saturday. Lately, a smaller group, perhaps local to this neighborhood, practices each week in the shadow of the plane trees and Choi Jeong Hwa’s Breathing Lotus sculpture.

Almost every week, someone we’ve never seen before enters the plaza and meditates or appears to pray while we stand. Some people dance. Some use the space to practice their lines. Today a clean-cut, middle-aged man in shorts and a red baseball cap circles the walkways, clearly working out something he wants to say in a confrontation.

How wonderful to have this space in the heart of our city to ruminate, to make peace in our souls, to prepare and dream and plan to make art or simply to work through a difficult situation before we return and speak our mind.

No, I do not feel alone when I stand for peace, not even today, when Sharon needed to take her stand elsewhere.

Wherever and however you make your stand for peace, may you be blessed today, and always.

Text and image © L Kathryn Grace – All rights reserved

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