(photo courtesy of http://bc.ctvnews.ca/)
My home and native land is 150 years old today! I love the above picture! This is a photo of 112 Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) Officers standing on the Capilano Suspension Bridge which is located in North Vancouver, British Columbia (BC). What an iconic and lovely way to salute Canada’s milestone birthday.
I know there are a plethora of celebrations taking place across the Great White North today, with maple leaf flags waving, and lots of renditions of our national anthem, “O Canada” being sung from coast to coast.
(photo courtesy of pawsitiveliving.ca)
I would like to provide a little tribute of my own as to what Canada has meant to me from a personal memory.
I am writing to you today on your 150th birthday! First off, congratulations! What an incredible country, for so many reasons. I want to tell you how much I appreciate growing up in Canada.
I remember heading over to my grade school on many a winter’s night; skates over my shoulders, hearing the sound of pucks smashing into the wooden boards of the makeshift skating rink.
The air was incredibly crisp and refreshing; as a child, I didn’t really notice the cold. It was more important to simply play outside without a care in the world. With figure skates tied tightly to my skinny ankles, I carefully maneuvered around the gaggle of hockey players, trying very carefully not to get hit with a puck, and not to interrupt the serious game taking place that frosty winter’s night (it’s all about the politeness in Canada)!
Despite the fact I knew it was close to ‘home time’ (no watch on my wrist; I just seemed to know when it was nearing 7:30), and the fact that a hot cup of chocolate awaited me, I could have skated on that little rink forever.
With feet practically frozen to my skates, I changed into my boots and headed the two blocks home. Looking up at the twinkling stars against the blue/black sky, it always felt magical. It was fun. It was, well, being a kid without concern for safety walking home. It was being a kid without worrying that I wouldn’t have any food when I returned home. For that matter, the fact that I had skates and went to a public school that provided children with outdoor recreation was never a concern either. When I waved goodbye to my skating friends and chided, “See you in class!” I never gave it a second thought that I would not see them on that very playground the next day for fear that any one of them would be killed or injured walking home.
I didn’t worry about the country collapsing into chaos; nor did I worry about our country being invaded and having to flee on a moment’s notice. I never gave pause to having to worry about getting a job at 8 years old to help provide for my family.
And I certainly was not concerned that the water I drank from the hot chocolate my mother made for me when I got home from skating would not be there.
I carried an invisible knapsack on my back during those years. It contained a huge Maple Leaf on its exterior. Inside was a treasure trove of gifts. Safety, security, clean air, fresh water, a cornucopia of food to eat, education for all, medical needs should that wobbly ankle fall sideways whilst skating. Might I add that truly the Canadian invisible knapsack allowed me to carry around a lot more than what I have mentioned here (and it is all extremely appreciated).
Canada, I love you. I am very aware of all that you do for Canadians. I want to say thank you. Thank you so much for allowing me to be what every child on the planet should have the chance to be; that is, just being a kid. I appreciate this more than I ever realized before.
Thank you, Canada.
(photo courtesy of www.123rf.com)