The night before Thanksgiving it was snowing, and Katy Hawkins and Cyane Gresham were shoveling the walks at the meetinghouse. Katy strung twinkle lights around the Social Room floor, turned on the heat, and had 30 yoga mats ready. At 6:15pm there were only four pairs of boots on the floor of the front hall and she thought another six boot-wearing friends of yoga might come.
Then out of the darkness headlights turned in the drive and bundled people came in, stomping off snow. They took off boots and walked in stockinged feet down the hall. In the social room, the guitar player with his sitar amp backup and a tabla player were warming up. Soon, nearly 60 people had put down their mats, filling the floor. Katy welcomed them and started yoga class with guided breathing, meditation, and slow, gentle stretches. After the rush of work and family and holiday preparation, this 90 minutes was an oasis of calm and nurture. Two children stifled giggles, and all the adults were quiet, focused, following the practice. At the end, people stayed to greet each other, thank Katy, drink hot cider, visit the tables of the Chestnut Hill Friends social justice projects their donations would support. Some looked in the Worship Room, and Tricia explained the Skyspace and invited them to come at sunset on Friday or Sunday. Katy's parents Anne and Sherman Hawkins, Pauline Doyle, Tricia and Elizabeth Walmsley cleaned up the hot cider and put tables away. Katy took her box of twinkle lights, and the building was quiet again in the falling snow, with George Benz outside spreading salt.