Monday, March 28, 2011


First, I ought not to complain about cold weather. It was a nice good-bye walk with my winter walk gear--pea coat, soft wool scarf, red leather gloves and blue knitted cap--before I put it all away for the season. The last frost. The last night of misted breath beneath a perfectly clear, moonless sky.

Sara sent me a video of a band singing to a live, outdoor audience in a language I can neither identify nor understand. It was a sweet video though, which was why she shared it. There was a section in which people were hugging each other goodbye, and I thought, "I love hugs." In the Chrome search bar I typed " hug" and hit enter before taking Miley for a walk. Here is what I watched, and what I think I was semi-subconsciously looking for:

I love the whole "free hugs" movement. Is it a movement? If not, it should be. When we were sixteen, Kelly and I went to World Youth Day in Toronto, Canada, with a church group from somewhere in Virginia or Maryland. It was actually more like a week, and one afternoon we saw some Aussies cheerfully walking around with "free hugs" signs*, and soon decided to make our own. We loudly advertised our hugs to the passing crowd. I started keeping track, and I think we hugged something like 1400 people in an hour. Now I have the idea that I'd like to make another "FREE HUGS" sign and take it to the mall or the park, and either walk around with it or set it next to me on a bench while I read, and see what happens. Maybe I could make a free hugs t-shirt. There should be more hugging in the world.

Free Hugs Homepage. Hugs are good for your health, people!

*And thus began my love affair with all things Australian. Technically this is untrue, as I first heard of and wanted to visit the Australian continent whenI attended first grade in a "down under" themed classroom as a child. But WYD 2002 helped.

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