I have a habit of jumping into conversations without offering much context.  Not this time:
  1. It is our nation’s anniversary on Friday.
  2. I recently qualified for a significant international track meet.
  3. My friends and I love playing an entertaining non-Canadian game (Spot It) curiously featuring a maple leaf.
  4. Yesterday I received a flag bearing the beloved maple…which is now watching over me as I sit and write this.
I’ve been thinking about what it means to me to be Canadian.

Through the forest of suddenly very relevant cliches I crept, seeing each as if for the first time and actually thinking about and relating to their meanings…

Security – faith in law and order and the general goodness of our contemporaries.
WILDERNESS – I can merely walk around the corner for a reminder of our perpetual connection  to everything else…and drive a mere few hours for blissfully complete loss of self identity.
Freedom –  to do just about WHATEVER we can think up.

Community – a desire to be the best we can be…together.
Opportunity – along similar lines of freedom and community…we are not only able to do what we desire, we are wildly encouraged to do so.

Finally, I arrived at what I am satisfied with calling the number one signification of what it means to be Canadian…quiet confidence.  It is knowing our strength without needing to talk about it, or even think about it.  It is exhibiting grace through adaptation and challenge.  It is being curiously engaged in the moment, unafraid of unknowns that may be lying in wait, and having acknowledged events of the past.  It is being unashamed to ask a question and being able to provide honest answers.  It is living with respect.  It is dreaming, and planning, and acting.  It is being ready – any time, any place.

It is inspiring!


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