(this is the start of a post that I was writing in June of 2009 when I was travelling Europe). I have walked miles and miles over the last days. I have seen palaces where royalty lives. I have seen cathedrals where many worship. I have seen beautiful farmland where men and woman work the land. I have seen almost pure white sandy beaches where people sell their talents. I have climbed summits. I have heard voices of young children sing as though we were amongst angles. I have watched the sun set in numerous different countries and while each of these experiences was a moment to remember, none of them were close to home, close to what Canada has to offer.
CANADA. it's not hard to see how this country becomes part of the very fabric of our everyday living. some say it is our pioneering spirit. some say it is the diversity we share. some say it is the freedom we know. some say its our love for social change. some say its the passion we have. I say it is all of this and so much more. It is what we can't put a name to. It is the vast prairie sky that beckons us to dream big. It is the reminder of our smallness when we conquer the summit of a mountain on the west coast. It is taste of the work of our farmers when we eat from our land. It is the feel of the ocean on our face when pulling in lobster and fish nets. It is the curiosity that deepens watching the tide come in and out on the east coast. It is the chimes that ring from the clock tower on the hill reminding us of the grandeur of the moments we have lived, here in CANADA.
Today, I had another opportunity to hear a MP speak. I try to hear as many politicians and community leaders speak. I might not agree with all of them, but it helps me to reflect on why I choose to be for and why I choose to be against certain ideas, certain policies. While at times I wasn't completely taken with this MP, I was encouraged to hear him speak to bigger themes and ideas for our Canada. It was between various questions that I got to thinking about the times that I've watched leadership races for the various parties, usually on the CBC. I got to thinking about why this stuff interests me. It does help that for a good amount of the time our country is cold, so being inside watching a leadership race doesn't really count as a wasted day when you are told to say inside. Being connected to politics it about something more than myself. It is about all of those people who have conquered something more. It is about the progress that we continue to have opportunity to carve out for future generations. It is about the expectation to be more for those countries who can't be more for themselves right now.
Agnes Macphail once said "Patriotism is not dying for one's country, it is living for one's country, and for humanity. Perhaps that is not as romantic, but it's better" and this is the way my heart beats right now. I want to hear us speak of this country with passion and connection. I want us to be compassionate and focused on growing the community around us where we celebrate each other and work together and dream big dreams. I want it to be the place where exploration and the potential for limitless boundaries exist. I want this for you and for me.