We are a country of pioneers, standing on that immigrant grit as our foundation – not of being better than others or more unique, but a country of people descended from people who came her for a thousand different reasons, against incredible odds, who made a life.
I’ve been reminded whenever I’ve visited distant corners of my country, this land so grand – those books record and recite our unique mix of vast resources, natural history, multi-cultures preserved and sustained, this country too big to defend its borders. Too impossible to conquer, nobody dares try. And too nice to offend – inextricably placed in geography and history between barren wilderness to our north and America to the south, So much water – so much land, so much space. So much room for everyone – room to move around, room to grow.
So many great ones. The great one – Gretzky. And Richard and Howe. This is the country Banting and Best, basketball, Bethune, and medicare. Wayne and Shuster. Terry Fox. The Friendly Giant. Murray Westgate. Burton and Gzowski. Marshall McLuhan. Foster Hewitt, Emily Car and Laura Secord, Farley Mowat and Billy Bishop. Kevin Vickers. Joey Smallwood and Tommy Douglas. Michener (Roland, not James), the Masseys, the Richardsons. Brock. Garneau and Bodnar and Thirsk. And in SE Saskatchewan, the Leins and the Kolkes. We all make our lists, great names and great histories.
Canadians have identity. And profound patriotism. Soon, American friends will wave their flags, toot horns. They’ll be louder. Not prouder. They’ll be full of themselves. We’ll still be full of potential.
When July comes, they are 4th. We always arrive 1st.
We have four strong winds. Thank you Ian Tyson for reminding us. Four sides too, surrounded by three oceans and Americans.
Today, we are thirty-five million. Canadians. 149 ago, after meetings and much politics, a rag-tag group of colonial parts of Canada convinced the British parliament we Canadians should exit Britain’s control. Be our own country. CAN-exit. We did …
We continue ties to Britain. Business and trade, yes. Loyalty, to some degree. Required? Not at all. (Recently the Brits had a vote to exit the EU. In Canada 52% would be considered a tie, in need of another vote or two or three.)
Day of celebration – not just because it is a beautiful Friday and most people have this day off, but because our country is having its annual party.
149 years on, this country works.
OK, we are facing a national postal strike any moment now …
But it works. We’ve learned that, grown up with that – lived with election night nail biting and economic strife, pipeline strife and Grey Cups. And Stanley Cups. Lumber and lobsters. Wheat and cars. Hockey night in Canada. Blue berets. Veterans. We help, rescue, peace-keep and roll out the welcome mat.
Next year will be 150.
We’ll hoot a little louder then.
p.s. great golf round yesterday – many things Jon. And Gary and Mike.
written / published from Calgary, AB
morning walk with Gusta: 13C/55F, calm and clear – another great start – some tree debris around our route, and the ground still very wet from a hail/rain pummeling/yesterday’s late afternoon storm (seems we are getting those daily – hopefully today, Canada Day holiday, will be an exception); Gusta’s wet coat needed a rub down …