Happy Birthday Canada! 143 years and we don’t look a day over 125. We may be a little worse for the wear in some parts of the country, there is a recession after all, and the diplomats of the G20 just left Toronto, but who said we can all age gracefully?
I came to this country when I was barely ten years old; I had a Scottish granny who told me regularly that as much as she loved and missed her homeland this was her country now and she was proud to be a Canadian. One of her first acts of patriotism was to take out her Canadian Citizenship. Flag waving nationalism was not for her, sure she had a picture or two of the old country hanging in her home but for her we lucky ones chose to live in this big, wild country and she was damn proud of it. She had no truck for people who lamented the ‘old country’ and who waved the (non) Canadian flag. We live here, we take advantage of the clean air, the health care system and all that Canada has to offer us and as far as she was concerned Canada was her home.
I could not agree with her more. I have travelled to other countries and am blessed to call this land my home. Freedom of speech (well….we will see what come out of the G20 inquiry), clean air (for the most part) and once upon a time a great health care system (no one is perfect). Still, when I look around the world, this young country is one I am proud to call home, and I am proud to say I have raised two lovely Canadians. Canada is part of them it is in their bones and inseparable from their own identity. No matter how far afield they travel – home is where the heart is and their heart and mine is here in Canada.
Sure our winters are harsh and summers steamy but we have come a long way since the days those early days of colonial kowtowing. This land may not belong to us but it is part of us and I see that in the two Canadians I raised. I love you Canada and am happy to call you home. I love to visit my place of birth in England and my father’s homeland in India but coming home to Canada is always welcome at the end of a trip- the name just rolls of the tongue doesn’t it?
Happy Birthday to our young nation….143 years and still growing strong.