Many of us here today are carrying a lot on our shoulders. Not only the joy of the Pride Festival and all it represents to the LBGTQ community and to those of us who support and admire your courage, your resilience, your pride in who you are, but we also carry the blessings of summer weather, and the things in our own lives that sustain and nourish us— a moment of connection with someone we love, a sunset, a garden, the effusive love of a pet.
When I was 12 I lit a beach on fire. I’m sure I’ve told this story before, but it bears repeating. I was bored and without playmates and I found myself for one reason or another at the small lagoon near our home, meandering along the beach when the dry grass at the shores edge caught my eye. I had some matches in my pocket and without wondering whether or not I should, or why, I was soon engaged in the ever so risky practice of lighting small fires among the grass, watching with curiosity as it spread slowly outward from a single match.