Monday, July 1, 2019

Oh Canada: A Celebration

(In keeping with tradition, here is my ninth annual Canada Day post, a tribute to my beloved country, using some of my favourite photos from the past twelve months.  Best viewed on a full-size computer screen rather than an itty-bitty smartphone 😁)

Oh Canada, my Canada,

Today is the day we celebrate your birthday... and yet,
I celebrate your birthday every day - 
for you, my beloved country,  were born not on a day when 
a few men formed a confederation of provinces, 
but on the day your first seed foretold the beauty of forests,

on the day your first tide brought us the beauty of the ocean,

on the day your  first flower opened its petals to the sun, 

and on the day your first young gave promise to the miracle of growth.

Oh Canada, my Canada,

though your people have struggled through many conflicts,

and cities have replaced some of your forests and fields, 

And though many Canadians are still chained by past and present violence, poverty, or despair

Or feel discarded, used up, spent,

You, Canada,  my home, my country, you offer to us so much:

Your forests and lakes offer tranquility,

Your flowers offer a rainbow of joy,

Your birds bring majesty, music, and  wonder,

And your beaches offer solace and peace.

Thank you, Canada, my country, my home,
For the pleasures each season brings:
The delight of spring flowers,

The warmth of summer days,

The red and golden colours of autumn,

The crisp, cool air of winter.

Oh Canada,  where opportunities to follow our passions abound

And people pitch in according to their ability, even when the load is heavy.

May those that inhabit your land, Oh Canada, 

find rest when they are weary,

and shelter when they need it.

May they be curious,

listen to others,

speak out,

and laugh a little every day.

For whether we stand alone 

Or are one of a large flock,

You are what unites us, Canada, your landscape, your beauty, our love for our country.

May your breezes gently blow away our worries,

May your land and waters provide food to nourish our bodies,

And sights to nourish our souls.

And even if we don't find a wealth of pearls, 
May we still find beauty in the empty shell,

And vision in a rotting log,

and grandeur in an unused trestle.  

May those who aim to govern us look deep
into the cracks of our history, that they may right the wrongs for  present and future generations, 

And find ways to bridge the gaps that divide us.

Oh Canada, 
May we always protect your forests, your lakes, your mountains, your prairies, your oceans, your creatures.

May we get to see another rise of your sun, Oh Canada,

And another sunset at the end of the day,

Another moon to watch over us through the night,

So wherever we go,

We will always think of Canada, my Canada, my home.

My beautiful home.
Oh Canada. We stand on guard for thee. 

Happy Birthday, Canada.