I am a stickler for standing for O Canada. Perhaps it is because I have been to countries where freedom is not a given. I live in a great, but not perfect, country. I am proud to be Canadian most days. Our history has been one of peacekeeping, even though that is shifting. We have our blemishes to be sure–ask a Japanese Canadian, for example. However, generally we do well. I love our oceans, mountains, prairies and frozen tundras. I have been lucky enough to go from sea to sea and watch whales play in two of our oceans; to witness the aurora borealis while laying on a caribou skin in my parka and sorrels with a husky between a friend and I to keep us warm; and to delight in perogies, poutine, and sucre cream tarts.
I used to attend hockey games and the opening chords of the hockey night in Canada theme song still brings back Saturday night memories like yesterday. I have been in a sweat lodge in the middle of the prairies. I have stood amongst tall evergreens, breathing deeply fresh air. I have gazed upon the amazing sight of people scurrying with pails to scoop up caplin for supper. This is a magnificent country.
I have traveled the world and yet there is no place I would rather be most days than right here. People joke about Canadians being polite, overly generous and apologetic. Those are not bad traits in my mind. I hope we never lose that sense of who we are. We are a people rooted in our land, in our ancestors, and in our commitment to make the world a better place.
What are you grateful for in this blessed country of ours? Happy Canada Day!