Kensington Gardens is more than a Royal Park; as a green oasis within the city it provides the people with space to walk amongst the trees and the swans a pond to bathe with ease, one can also aspire to have  Victoria’s love for Albert, and on a good day, the locals give out Free Hugs, what more could you ask for?

I was jogging at my usual steady pace, I like to run Ken Gardens and Hyde Park circumference at 30 minutes, this ensures that I sweat enough, the heart rate is increased to improve my cardiovascular strength, and that I can meditate within my comfort zone, running to me is meditation in action as the breathe and rhythm become one.

As I approached my first lap of both parks, at a good time of 28 minutes, there stood before me two good looking 20 year olds holding a placard that read “FREE HUGS”, while a group of children were walking and chanting “free hugs, free hugs…”, seriously the world was one big free hug, at least that part of the world was, and then, I got one.

My initial reservation to not embrace, as I didn’t want to break my pace(running is serious business y’know) was completely overshadowed by the open arms and smiling faces of two strangers, I could NOT resist the opportunity to HUG.

I’m sure I left salt stains upon their t-shirts, it’s good to leave ones mark, as I continued on, my breathe was now liberated as a running smile, the truest sense of joy coursed through my veins as oxygen and endorphins infused a funny kinda connection. My spirit was now soaring higher, the beauty of human contact, the need to smile, share laughter, to embrace our humanity with humour and youthful cheekiness is integral to a fun life.

How refreshing to meet two strangers holding a placard, giving out laughter and connection on a sunny day in the park, a very sweet interaction indeed, and so much more appealing than all of the religious self righteousness that goes on at Poets Corner on a Sunday morning.


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