Yesterday, we took the boys up for a hike to Cecret Lake (nope, that's not my typically bad spelling making it past spell-check again; that's the bad spelling of the 19th century miners of Alta, Utah).
As anyone in Salt Lake would know, yesterday was a beautiful day, and we started out our hike under blue skies. But about 100 yards from the lake the only dark cloud in the state of Utah parked over the trail and began a refreshing little drizzle... then rain, then sleet, and then a blizzard of hail.
I turned my shirt into a makeshift umbrella and we all ran down the mountain in a snow storm. When we got to the car, we were all freezing cold and a disheveled mess of ice and mud. My arm was just frustratingly away from numb with the pain of holding an icy shirt over Alan as we stumble down a mountain. Brian even declared it to be the worst hike ever (well, the "most terriblest" hike). But we were all laughing, and did so the way down; Brian couldn't wait to tell grandpa about it, with a big smile on his face.
Isn't it odd how that can happen? Something miserable can happen and all it takes is context and company to make it a fun, fond memory? Even at the time, you know you should be miserable, but misery is far from what you get. Such a hike kind of has a way of showing you why you're going on a hike with your family in the first place. I mean, we go on many hikes, but the boys will remember this one, and with that odd mix of fun and "I hope that never happens again".
Maybe that's near how we'll look back on the politics of today. When the day comes that our family is treated with equality, we may just look back on these days of struggling for our rights and dealing with bigots with a certain humor.
Not that I'd say we're nearly having fun with the attacks on our home that come with items like Proposition 8. We get hurt; some nights I have stayed up too late worrying about what the our legislature will try next, and each threat and belittlement of my home as sub-par or non-ideal or whatever euphemism they'll use may as well be one of those icy pellets hitting me from nowhere. Nevertheless a little hail and struggle in a family has a way of illustrating what is great about a family, and, depending upon who you're with in life, threatening clouds can seem ridiculous in the face of what you know and what you have, even as you wince at each seed of ice down your neck.
(umm... and the warm car is legal equality. Yes, I must find a metaphor in everything.)