Out door Mass, boxed lunches, games, freedom, joy and an atmosphere of fraternity made the June 20th a day of celebration for the citizens of Loppiano.
The weather forecast was not encouraging for Incisa Valdarno with temperatures in the 40s! We wondered how we would ever resist the burning afternoon sun. But, by some miracle of St Peter or one of his assistants, the picnic area was covered by the shade of a vast blanket of clouds that seemed like a natural gazebo. Mass began on schedule, followed by a picnic lunch and lots of games!
The citizens of Loppiano had few opportunities to gather during the past year, because of the pandemic. All we got to see of each other was our faces in those tiny zoom windows. The more time went by, the more we looked forward to being together again, if only to look into each other’s eyes, share a few words and meet the new arrivals.
But it was also more than that: sharing moments of prayer, at daily Mass, for example, or sharing experiences and news that helped to create a deeper relationship. But playing together also added another dimension to this relationship, making us discover the social significance of laughter and play.
The experts say that through play, a society shows its dominant values, and allows its members to share them and put them into action. We all know the main values of Loppiano, and it was easy to identify them on Sunday: liberty, joy, fraternity, interculturality, spontaneity, and so on. It was enough to see the group of people between the ages of just a few months and 90 years, from 40 countries and different continents who tried their hand at Medieval games, or groups of all ages practicing aerobics at a pilates class.
It was a loose schedule that allowed everyone to have a beautiful and constructive experience. Now, after an experience like that, we feel more like brothers and sisters at Loppiano, more united, more like fellow-citizens of this city that a week earlier had remembered the signing of that Pact of Mutual Love that is the Law and backdrop of everything that happens in Loppiano.