This is taken at a place called Stockbridge Bowl in Massachusetts.

It’s a big lake and this grassy area is right behind the beach. There were a bunch of kids in really long canoes in the water, most of them plus-size and I wondered if it was a summer camp for overweight children.

Then I noticed these people. If you squint your eyes and look close, you can see that they are grouped into three sections. The far left in a clutter, the middle group in a kind of horseshoe shape and the final group on the right.

A person from the left group would walk up really slowly to the horseshoe and walk in front of each person, like a duck-duck-goose sort of thing, look them each in the eye warmly, then finally choose somebody with whom to high-five.

But not an everyday high-five, more like a collaborative clapping of the hands, eventually followed by a long, heavy, emotional hug. The hug sends the whole group into applause, and then the hugging duo joins the group on the far right.

I watched this for some time.

At first it seemed cultish and creepy. Then I started to wonder if they were all recovering alcoholics. The hugs in particular looked like the hugs alcoholics give each other in movies. But then I decided they looked too bohemian to be in recovery.

It turned out to be a yoga thing. There’s apparently a big yoga industry up there, in Western Massachusetts and upstate New York, and this hugging procedure is a part of some mind/body cleanse.

I don’t know what it’s supposed to do exactly, but I like hugs too, so I guess I kinda get it.

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