Where usually there are 10-15 people along the peace picket line, today there were 50-60, all of them geared up for a march that would take place after Saturday's weekly hour of standing.
Up and down the line beneath picture-perfect spring skies there were people asking for signatures or passing out leaflets or stickers or signs to be waved: "Bring the war dollars home" seemed to be a large theme.
An elderly woman sat under a straw hat next to me. She was riding in one of those electric chairs and she steered it with arthritic hands -- hands too crippled to get a firm grip on the leaflets or stickers she was offered. "Just put it in there," she'd say to the eager proselytizers and she would point to the basket on the front of her vehicle. She collected a lot of stuff at the same time I said my polite no-thank-you's.
A nearby puppy did his best to scarf a half-eaten Snickers bar left lying on the sidewalk. He was short-circuited by his owner, who shoved her fingers deep into his mouth in order to retrieve the chocolate and nut confection. Her fingers came out gooey and the puppy looked dismayed.
Cars passed and honked their apparent approval and would-be marchers encouraged each other with their individualized brands of outrage and hope. Various people took pictrues to mark the event. It was a lively gathering.
A loud, tall man came up to inform me that he thought the Dalai Lama was a nice guy -- a guy with whom he might like to have a beer. I agreed.
An ex-Jesuit Veteran Against the War engaged me in conversation and we had a nice chat about our spiritual adventures and views. I seem to have some sort of Christian karma lately, running into interesting facets of a religion that helps to weave my country.
For the first time in what seems quite a while, I was too warm standing along the line.
Next week, assuming the temperatures remain the same, I will wear fewer clothes. It will be interesting to see how many people show up at a time that lacks an organizing fervor.
It's easy to do stuff once. It's not so easy to do it again ... and again ... and again ... unless, of course, it is a bad but delicious habit. :)
Today marks the seventh anniversary of the U.S. invasion of Iraq.