Thursday, July 28, 2011

Sightings at Grace

If you come to Grace at around 8:00 in the morning, you will find a lone Asian woman in the area outside the office entrance. She comes here after her run to do her cool-downs, her tai chi and her stretches. You will see her using the trees as natural gym equipment.

Meanwhile, with school out, sightings of children on the parking lot labyrinth have increased.

In the afternoon, you might just catch a young couple, sitting on a marble bench under the trees.

Grace is surrounded by multiple-unit dwellings - houses turned into apartments - with little privacy and little room for doing the things many of us take for granted - sitting under a tree, doing our exercises, running around, even courting.

While churches with dwindling financial resources are scurrying around trying to find money to stay alive, I still dream of ways to be an integral part of the neighborhood, ways that never will translate into money or survival.

I dream of having the outside doors open all day long, all weather, with access to the bathrooms and refreshments - water, juice, coffee, tea - available to anyone who just wanders onto the property or who stays to enjoy the setting.

What if there was just a cooler with bottles of water on ice, sitting under the trees, all day, every day? "Help yourself!" it would say. What if, while I am away, someone came and unlocked the parking lot entrance, near the green railing where the Asian woman does her exercises, and propped the door open, with a sign that says, "Restrooms here!".

What if I didn't spend my vacation away at all, but made my dream come true? Would anyone join me? I wonder...

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