Last night, I tore out of the Upper West Side on my bike into Riverside Park.
I was going to hear my teacher, Charles Salzberg, read from his work in Grand Central Noir, at the bar Shade in the Village.
I was focused on getting into the bike lane. I had more than 70 blocks to ride and I just wanted to get there. It was way hot.
I slowed down at the turn off by 72nd Street.
There, I noticed the lemonade stand. I am a sucker for kids selling lemonade. My friend, Christina and her sons and a friend had set this one up.
I bought the small lemonade for fifty cents. As a bonus, I got a free hug. Sweet.
I’ve blogged about hugging before. My yoga teacher in Akumal told me you need seven hugs a day. That seems like a lot. But I like a challenge. I got my first hug there.
Hugging helps get rid of stress.
- relaxes your muscles
- releases some natural serotinin
- is reciprocal and mutual – you have to give and receive (No one likes a limp return to a robust hug)
- makes you smile
- can be embarrassing, but feels really good
These kids in Riverside Park offered hugs to sweaty runners and exhausted parents. They gave their hugs to people who bought lemonade and to people who couldn’t afford one. It’s been a rough few days in the U.S. after the verdict on the Zimmerman case. The hugs felt like a small step or a perfect antidote to healing rifts in our world.
Every person who received a free hug walked away with a huge smile.
These kids inspired me. When I saw some friends and met some acquaintances at Charles’s reading, I hugged them. I wouldn’t usually have hugged strangers or friends of friends,– because, hey, NYC intellectuals, especially crime writers, may not be the most physically affectionate folks. But f*** it! I hugged ‘em. It was so hot and sweaty at the bar called Shade, but the hugging made it all cool.
- You can’t make me ride in a bike lane. (thesource.metro.net)
- Tour de New York (alexadhoffman.wordpress.com)
- Grand Central Noir - ALL money from the proceeds of this book goes to God’s Love We Deliver
- Charles Salzberg, novelist
- Day 137: Give FREE HUGS (liveexanimo.wordpress.com)
- Free Hugs (selahvita.wordpress.com)