It was a beautiful north Florida day. Gentle sunshine. Puffy clouds. No humidity. Who wouldn’t want to celebrate? Besides, our little town never misses an opportunity to rejoice. Festivals. Events. And parades. Lots of parades. Along the parade route, we found a lightly shaded low brick wall — a perfect seat for those of us who rarely remember to carry chairs.
And then these people showed up.
As they started to walk by my husband and I smiled and said “hello.” They did too. They set up their chairs beside us and we chatted a little. We talked about their involvement in Compassionate Fernandina.
A combination of “locals” and tourists continued to show up for the parade, some stopping to take their picture, others just saying “hi.” A visiting couple started to walk by and came back. He spoke with a thick accent.
“We need this. We need to be together. We are all too far apart.” He asked to take a picture. Then he spotted our new friend’s hat.
“Korea?” He nodded.
“Me too,” as he moved in for a hug.
For the next several minutes we talked about the island and their visit. Then talk turned to the Steelers. That’s right. Four of the six new friends chatting had lived in Pittsburgh.
“The Steelers won!” he said, beaming.
The parade had made the turn and was headed our way. The six of us moved to the curb to watch. Mr. Sang asked me why the town was hosting a parade and I told him it was in honor of Dr. King’s birthday.
“This is so great!” he said before jumping into the street to capture unobstructed photos of every single marcher.
We went our separate ways reassured that love really is the only force that matters.