When you hear the sound of drums and cymbals outside your apartment coming from somewhere down the street, of course you go out and find out where they’re coming from. It was the West Coast Lion Dance Troupe performing in the small parking lot of the hardware store near us. It was fun to watch the brightly-colored lions dancing in the warm February sunshine:
This hardware store, formerly independent, was bought out by a small locally-owned chain of hardware stores. Since they were bought out, they’ve been doing things to attract the attention of passers-by. In addition to the lion dancers, the local animal shelter had a tent set up and was promoting adoptions of small pets. Not a lot of people came, but we were all smiling.
After I watched the dancers, and glanced at the terrarium with a lizard or something in it, I started walking home — and as I walked I wondered why our UU congregation doesn’t do things like this to attract the attention of passers-by. I know what you’re going to say: “Most UU congregations try to hide from passers-by.” Well, I’m not feeling that cynical today, when it’s so warm and sunny and the faint smell of perfumed flowers permeates the air and makes my eyes itch. I think we’ve just never thought about inviting a lion dance troupe, or (honk!) an activist street band, or or some other community arts organization, to perform in front of our building. Maybe if we had sales goals to meet, as retail establishments do, we’d be thinking more along those lines. Not that I think we should have sales goals per se, but you know what I mean.