Canada Day Gratitude
It’s Canada Day, and although some say they’re proud on this day, I’ll tell you what – today I’m grateful. I had the wild opportunity as a young person to travel to a lot of countries. Beautiful countries like France, Germany, El Salvador, Mexico, and Guatemala, meeting beautiful people who shared their unique stories. I lived in a few of them, even temporarily. And while I learned that my west coast Canadian way isn’t the “right way”, I did realize that as Canadians we are those to whom much has been given. If much is required from those to whom much has been given, gratitude, rather than pride, might be a good place to start giving back – in the giving of thanks. I am grateful.

Grateful for this country that is more mosaic than melting pot. That allowed my great-grandparents to keep their traditions and pass along culture and faith while building a life in this new place.

Grateful that we are a people who are okay with saying “I’m sorry”, because while our nation’s founders had vision and did many good things, they also were people with determination who wounded others, and we’re still trying to figure out how to repair what was broken, although it will never be made perfect.

Grateful to be born, by no merit of my own, in a place that has afforded me ridiculous opportunity, freedom to make choices, and a safe space to live my convictions and beliefs.

Grateful that I can pay taxes to a system that isn’t even close to perfect, but helps care for my family with hospitals, doctors, police and fire services, courts of law and child protection, paved roads, reliable water and electricity, and peace-keeping forces. We’re so quick to complain, but really? We have the privilege of complaining.

Grateful that although we are a relatively small population-wise, we are rich as Solomon in beautiful landscapes, and we are a people who like to live our days outdoors. Although I’ve not entirely learned to be grateful for snow, in this Ontario-land of my husband’s birth, I’m grateful for seasons, with all that they bring, and that we get to experience all four of them. These seasons, summer and winter and springtime and harvest, are teaching me rhythms of grace.

Grateful that our country’s founders chose this to be the Dominion of Canada because God should have dominion from sea to sea – and it has defined us. It has made us people who are not known for demands of blessing, but rather asking for God to keep our land, glorious and free, while we commit to standing on guard for our home and native land. And this is our “true patriot love.”

Grateful for our diversity – with the aging hippies of my beloved Vancouver Island, the fish-kissers in Newfoundland, our stalwart, resourceful Prairie folk, and Alberta mavericks, and these salt-of-the-earth Ontario farmers, wildly multicultural Torontonians, our fiercely proud French Canadians, our resilient Maritimers, our beautifully diverse First Nations, our toe-drinking, diamond-mining, remarkably tough Northern Canadians, those who have arrived in our country even just these last six months, taking refuge from unthinkable circumstances – you are my people. It’s you who I’m proud of.

If I was to choose nothing else to be grateful for, I’d be grateful for this country that has given me a home and a family. My daughter, you see, came home to be with us forever on Canada Day. She is our Canada Day gift, proof of redemption and hope and possibility. She is the reason why I’m choosing to be grateful, to the One who has Dominion from sea to beautiful sea, and brought her to us – right here in Canada.