Cue the Sousa

The man in the shiny red cape passed over the plate of chili-infused chocolates. I took a tiny heart decorated with silver and popped it in my mouth, right before I was introduced to yet another caped guest. It was a great party.

I spent some time this Saturday at a gathering of folks who were organizing to march in the Fremont Solstice parade. I haven’t yet seen this annual spectacle, but I hear it’s a cavalcade of free spirits on foot. Fremont bills itself as the center of the universe, the neighborhood of artists and radicals. I love the place. I loved the people at this party, too. They were warm and friendly, and all gathered for a good cause.

Their group is called the Super-Huggers. The founder was diagnosed with cancer a few years back and her spirits were greatly lifted by all the hugs that she received from visitors. She has recovered, and wants to share the healing power of hugs with others, so she founded this group. During the parade the Super-Huggers spread good cheer and hug everyone who is receptive to it. They wear red, silver and white costumes, including red capes with white hearts. It was healing just being around them.

I’m going to walk with the group, because I believe in their mission. I wasn’t always a hugger, but friends converted me long ago. One hug goes a long way towards curing what ails you or raising already good spirits way up into the rafters. It’s free, and it’s a form of healing that we can all give to each other—no medical training required. This group isn’t affiliated with the random people offering free hugs in Seattle, but perhaps it inspired them. I don’t know. I do know that I’m looking forward to hugging the people along the parade route. How often do you get a chance to help so many people in one morning?

Your assignment, should you choose to accept it:

116. Give out as many hugs as possible today, and ask the recipients to pass them along to someone else. If the people you hug do the same you could end up being responsible for hundreds of hugs or more. Did you enjoy your day of hugging? Would you like to make it a more regular practice? Consider the possibilities.

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