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Sunday, July 15, 2012

Best Nap Ever

Yesterday I took myself for a nice long bike ride. It was such a beautiful, hot day that I couldn't resist. There was no real wind to speak of, which is great for biking, but every now and then gentle warm breeze came and went. I  stayed off the main roads choosing a nearby trail. I  didn't have to go too far to find quietness and beauty around here (Needed some of that). I packed a small picnic, a book and headed out. My intention was to bike to the beach but there was one place on the trail where I  stopped for a moment & looked around at the beautiful surroundings. I immediately made the decision to stop & rest for a moment right where I was. I pulled into the woods, parked my bike and layed down in the tall grass, took it all in. I was slightly overcast and the threat of a shower was lingering. I  might have welcomed a brief refreshing  rain shower.  It was so silent except for the birds. I  closed my eyes briefly to  block the sun and to my surprise, twenty minutes later I woke up. It was the best nap I have had in a long while, and who knew but my body that I needed one.I  ate my watermelon,  sat with my  thoughts for a moment, and continued my  journey. I had a new sense of  vigor and a renewed sense of appreciating  special moments when they happen. Our summer is so short, best to enjoy it while it lasts. I never made it to the beach. That will have to wait for another special moment.

Friday, July 6, 2012

We do not HAVE to March...Reflections on Pride week.

 PRIDE week has rolled around once again, and once again I have spend a good bit of my time pondering if PRIDE week is losing its importance for me. I asked myself questions like, Is Pride Week necessary anymore? We have equal rights now I told myself, and we can pretty much come and go as we please (At least in this country). I don't feel threatened when I walk down the street. Do we need such visibility? Do  we need to be "seen"? Do we really need a parade? Why exactly are we marching down the street anyway? Is PRIDE relevant anymore or has it  served its purpose?

Initially I decided that PRIDE week really has no place in my personal life anymore and that it had mostly become a reason for the young people to party. But then I considered how much of a place PRIDE had in my heart.
Many years back, after a series of life events, and in an effort to meet people,  I  contacted PEI PRIDE and through the committee I met so many wonderful people at a time when I may have otherwise been alone. I am still friends with most of those people. I considered the role that PRIDE has played in getting us to where we are today in terms of rights and freedoms and decided I could not  ignore this week as an "unimportant"  thing. PRIDE has helped so many like- minded people come together, have fun and most importantly feel safe doing so.

I thought of the young man who was murdered in Halifax a few months back, Raymond Taavel was his name.
And then I recalled how so many people who knew him through PRIDE, and even those who did not, gathered in the street to honor his memory  and how Facebook was full of the PRIDE flags as a gesture of solidarity and respect. Then I decided that YES, there  are lots of reasons to celebrate and to be seen.  No, we may not HAVE to march , but we CAN and that  in itself is something to celebrate.

Once a year, a week of celebration of something we may have in common, a week of  celebration also of the diversity among us. This is  a week to see old friends, to dance, to sing, and to respect difference. It is a week to  remember what PRIDE has meant to us in the past or does mean to us now. This week we can celebrate  the youth who can foster pride in themselves and not feel ashamed. They might not feel like they are so alone. This week is for the children of gay parents as they  grow up, to celebrate their lives, and their Moms and Dads.

I thought about the beauty and the simplicity of the PRIDE flag in all its glory and I knew that this colourful  symbol would be a part of my life forever, no matter if i participate or not. The flag is  ours, a universal symbol of promise and peace.  A welcoming symbol on any door or window when travelling, a symbol of unity and  endurance.

If  for a moment I lose my enthusiasm surrounding PRIDE week I need only to think of the  meaning behind the colours in the flag, meanings that do  not  need a week, but are useful as daily whisperings for anyone.

RED for life and pride in our daily lives and the way we live them, the way we treat others. ORANGE for healing and as a community & there is no shortness of that  to do. YELLOW for Sunshine, which everyone enjoys, and the time we celebrate. GREEN for Nature so lets  respect what's natural in us and others, BLUE for Harmony which we absolutely want, and last  but  not least PURPLE for spirit,  so lets celebrate Pride week  in the  spirit it is intended , in the  spirit of inclusion, visibility, diversity, and  of course, pride in who we have been, in who we are and who we might become.