There is a huge park in the city where we live. Not a manicured, designed urban park, but a forest preserve, really. The park has picnic areas and a horse riding center, but mostly has miles of trails and relative quiet. I love hiking there --once I get away from a major trail, I can go well over an hour without seeing anyone else, and so the city fades away.
I did a little Independence Day hike to take advantage of the cool leafy shade. On the trail out, I passed a little clearing where -- a dozen or so yards off the trail -- two men, probably in their 20s, were having a little picnic, lying next to each other, and talking. I wondered if they were gay and guessed that they probably were: Two men, one blanket, wicker picnic basket.
Coming back on the same trail, I passed them again. This time, one guy had his head in his friends lap, the friend absent-mindedly stroking his air. A lovely little moment in time, like a sweet old photograph.
The moment made me think about the holiday and the Declaration of Independence. "All men are created equal" has not worked out so well for women, racial minorities, social classes, but it's still an ideal to work toward achieving.
A week ago, I went to the wedding of two men, a marriage fully protected by the laws of their state: all men are created equal. The two young men having a picnic even a conservative could find charming: unalienable rights including life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
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