Friday (tomorrow) is Canada Day!
I've never really thought of myself as patriotic. I don't fly a flag in my backyard or stick Canada flag pins on my bags when I travel. But I do love Canada. It's a beautiful country. Some of its people even get me. It's home.
But what does it really mean to me to be a Canadian?
Canada is... winter. There's no better place to find it then here. As much as I complain about shoveling and driving in it, snow is a beautiful thing. There's something about spending the day out in the snow, skiing or snowshoeing that reminds us of how alive we are. And nothing beats that cozy feeling you get when you return to a roaring fire and hot cup of cocoa (and maybe a shot of brandy). Ahhh. Bliss.
Canada is... security. I don't ever have to worry about not being able to look after my health thanks to public health care. In other ways, my country looks after me. When I retire, if I lose my job or can no longer work, social services will be there to help.
Canada is... beauty. I have travelled the country from coast to coast and have lived in three of its provinces. There is so much to see and do here. Vast blue skies. Majestic mountains. Clean beaches. Sparkling waters. Grand old trees. Stunning night city skylines. It's all here!
Canada is... community. We care about each other. We understand that a life lived only for ourselves is no life at all. We know that happiness is a result of how much we expand our hearts and give to others. Canadians are good neighbours. We love our cousins to the south - sometimes it feels as if there are no borders at all. We are volunteers and do what we can to assist other countries in need. We're very polite (just ask anyone who isn't from Canada how often we say "sorry" and "excuse me").
Canada is... equality. Whatever I might want to do, I will have relatively few barriers to getting it done. Canadians stand up against discrimination and we support minorities. Women are treated as equals. The elderly are treated with dignity and respect. I feel very fortunate to live in this country and at this time.
Canada is... family. It's where I have grown up and it's where my family lives. It's home. My family consists not only of my blood relatives, but includes my dear friends who help me to learn and grow and to be a better person, day by day.
Happy Birthday, Canada! Thank-you for all that you are.
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Canada Day Events in Your City
Ottawa: http://www.montrealgazette.com/news/royal-wedding/Royal+couple+visit+Montreal+July/4862441/story.html (Wow, Ottawa! You get William and Kate for the day!)
St. John, NB: http://www.sjcanadaday.ca/sjcanada/
St. John's, NFLD: http://www.stjohns.ca/visitors/attractions/events.jsp