This is a vast land we live in.
I've travelled from coast to coast more than once, and have some grasp of the diversity of the people and landscape of Canada. We celebrate Canada's "birthday" on July 1, with outdoor play, barbeques, ball games, strawberry shortcake...all culminating with fireworks.
All across the country, people park their cars in the local ball field or school yard, spread out blankets or unfold lawn chairs, and watch the show. The children scream with delight, and the crowd swells with "oooOOOH!"s and aaaAAAh"s!
We spent the long weekend with my sister, and checked all the requisite Canada Day activities off the list, and then some. The kids stayed up extra, extra late to see the fireworks, and declared that they were AWESOME! (I missed them because Margot was too little and had to go to bed...I'll admit, I was a bit overtired, too!)
When I was 9 or so, we drove across Northern Ontario, then across the prairies, the foothills, and the Rockies until we reached the farthest western coast of Canada. No text book could have taught me as much about this country I live in. My children will often say, after an hour or so of driving, "Are we in Canada now?" or "Are we still in Canada?" They're too little to comprehend the expanse of land that we call Canada. But with plans in the works for a trip to Canada's east coast in a couple of years, their knowledge will grow as mine did, from the backseat of a car.
Oh, Canada, glorious and free...I'll admit it: I'm a patriot.
Coincidentally, this piece was posted on Independence Day, so to all my American friends and followers out there: Happy July 4th!