There were about 15 of us folks chalking in front of the downtown Berkeley BART station. We started with about ten adventurers and as the momentum increased, we gained more energy, creative inspiration, and people. In the beginning, many pedestrians stopped by us, paused briefly out of curiosity, and for the most part remained rather perplexed by our so-called ‘deviant’ behaviour. However, after we chalked up some cheerful colours and phrases on the beautiful red stones in the area, people came over just to take a peep and see: “What adults chalkers are really doing?”
Folks came by with cameras. Small children pointed at us and tugged the hands of their parents to have them take a look. This one particular man in a suit came out of the station, appearing as if he had had an exhausting day. Yet, he managed to trudge a bit closer to us to read the writing on (well, not on the wall), but yes on the floor. Our eyes met, so I wanted to connect. I proceeded to ask him how his day was going. He said that it was good but it had just gotten better. He had a huge smile on his face as he looked beneath his feet. He was seeing and reading, and smiling all at the same time! So, I asked him to join us. The natural conditioned response of most people passing by, including him was, “No no, I don’t have time but thank you and this is wonderful what you all are doing. Thank you so much.” We were about to part and so I left him with a choice and mentioned, “Well, it’s up to you.”
About 15 minutes later, I looked up and he was still around, almost mesmerized by the art. He had talked to someone on the phone, and I surmised that perhaps he was changing his plans for the evening. He then came over, with his change of heart, and said,
“You know, I think I do have a message after all.”
I gave him some chalk and he wrote down his own beautiful message. Now, what is yours? Grab a piece of chalk and spread the chalking spirit today!