Archive for July 1st, 2014

Today is Canada Day, the one hundred and forty-seventh anniversary of the forming of Canada into a country. As a country we are our own entity, and as citizens, we are Canadian!

I have had the privilege of living on the East Coast of Canada, Canada’s national capital (Ottawa), and now on the West Coast of Canada.

I have had the privilege of enjoying fresh lobster, fresh Pacific salmon, and fresh … chip wagon poutin on the streets of Ottawa (it always comes down to food with me).

I have watched the sun rise from the horizon of the Atlantic, and set into the waters of the Pacific … on the same day.

I have watched the lupins blow in the eastern gales, tulips color the landscape of the nations capital, and ancient cedars grow to gigantic sizes on the west coast.

I have lived in communities where there is one church for every sixteen people, and in communities where there is one church for every six hundred (and as many people attend at each).

I have left the house with a perfectly coiffed doo, to have it mangled in minutes by winds from the Bay of Fundy. I have left my home, showered and clean, to arrived at my destination soaked by perspiration thanks to the humidity of central Canada. I have left my home in shorts and a t-shirt on a sunny day in the Fraser Valley to be drenched to the skin by a downpour, only ten minutes later.

I have wandered through the flowerpots of The Rocks on the Bay of Fundy, skated on the Rideau, and have hiked the mountains in the west.

I have enjoyed winters of over ten feet of snow on the ground, winters where the wind chill reaches -50 degrees celsius, and winters where there is no snow, and the temperature never goes below +5 degrees celsius.

I have awakened to the bright mornings sun glistening off fresh snow, the most vibrant colors of red and orange and gold of fall foliage, and the amazement of snowdrops blooming in January.

I have seen AHL (American Hockey League), WHL (Western Hockey League), and NHL (National Hockey League) hockey games in person … and even understood what was going on! (and been to hockey’s ‘holy of holies’ (hubby’s title), the Hockey Hall of Fame).

I have watched the Anne of Green Gables musical at the Confederation Center, in Prince Edward Island, the Rankin family at the National Arts Center in Ottawa, and the Three Tenors in Vancouver.

I have known what it is to walk down a street and know everyone who I pass, and to walk down a street and know no person who passes me.

I have eaten in homes where meat is a main course, and homes where meat is only spelled with two e’s.

I have met people who are pacifists at any cost, and people who who have died to save and improve the lives of others.

I have stood on Canada Day, with Queen Elizabeth in attendance, at Parliament Hill singing Oh Canada, with so many others, singing so loudly, so proudly I almost felt … American. And I have stood at other gatherings where I can only hear my own (very off-key) voice.

I have seen the auroras boreales, the Niagara Falls, the Tidal Boar, the red soil of Prince Edward Island, Peggy’s Cove, the Rocky Mountains, Lake Louise, and the whole of Vancouver from Cypress Mountain.

I have crossed the Canadian-American borders at Calais, Philipsburg, Rock Island, Peace Arch, Woodstock, Cornwall, Prescott, Aldergrove, Windsor, Sumas, Vanceboro, Stanstead, St. Stephen, Blackpool and more!

I have met people from Ukranian, Chinese, Russian, American, Dutch, German, Japanese, Scottish, Indian, Australian, Vietnamese, Iranian, African and more other national heritages than I have paper to print them on, who now call themselves Canadian.

I have met people who arrived in Canada many years ago at Pier 21, in Halifax, and people who arrived this year at Vancouver International airport.

I am from a family that is so Canadian, we go back to the Loyalists and the Metis. And I know many Canadians who still call themselves Canadian with a hyphen (ie. American-Canadian).

I feel blessed to be part of the society known as Canadians. We are a study in contrasts, from sea to shining sea.

(The intent of this writer was not to provide advertising for Molson Canada 😉 … but it IS part of our identity too)


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