On Saturday morning, our local Sikh, Muslim, Christian, & Atheist groups organized the second annual Lodi Peace Walk from Veteran’s Plaza to the Poplar Mosque to celebrate & promote peace in our community. I was surprised and excited to find something like this happening and couldn’t resist being a part of it. I admit that I had planned to drive & just take pictures but the energy of the small gathering overwhelmed me. I marched happily amidst a rainbow of Lodians, most of whom I don’t have the pleasure of rubbing elbows with very often. For two miles every conversation I overheard was positive and plunged below the surface. There was so much niceness in the air, I almost cried at least once. Thankfully, I was soon to have some kind of pudding forced upon me by an elderly Sikh man who, when I asked what it was, just said, “Sweet!” and walked away.
The whirlwind of food and kids and dogs once we landed at Blakely Park was overwhelming in a good way. The organizers, in addition to Mayor Doug & Chief Patterson, gave kind and inspiring speeches. In each one, our slogan “Livable, Lovable, Lodi” was repeated with gusto. Turns out, Lodi is more livable when we interact in peace and more lovable once we get out there and do it. I feel proud to live in a town where things like this happen and can’t wait to see this little walk grow into a big one. Maybe someday it will be a real parade! A girl can dream.
Be like me and push past your anxieties over a bowl of mysterious pudding. Next time, I might even drink the Koolaid. Live in peace, Lodians!