This morning Natalie and I waited for her pre-school group to meet at the Wilson Park Farmer’s Market in Torrance. A cluster of toddlers from other schools gathered by the recreation center and in general the place was crowded before 9 A.M.
In the center of the throng, a sixty-ish Anglo women dressed in a peach colored athletic suit had plopped down on her royal purple towel and did the lotus pose with her arms outstretched a few inches below shoulder level. Next to her was a placard with the name of the mystical sect she belonged to and three words in all capitals: “COMPASSION, TRUTHFULNESS, FORBEARANCE.”
The woman’s eyes were closed as she conspicuously meditated when my elf-like daughter Natalie crept up on the aspiring mystic and, smiling with mischief, tapped the woman on the shoulder.
The serenity-seeker recoiled, bared her teeth at my daughter and hissed something beneath her breath. In an instant, compassion, truthfulness, and forbearance evaporated and the woman’s true colors shined in bold relief.
I grabbed Natalie and apologized to the woman who tried to assume a smile of temperance and enlightenment, but by then it was too late. Her cover was blown.