This weekend was a blur, but I expected it to be.
Another terrific weekend in Niagara with more things to do than time to do them. Katie and I took in a few great events and there were so many others that we just couldn’t get to (I feel particularly sad that we missed the hot air balloon rides in Pelham, oh well, there’s always next year).
I suspect there were fantastic things to do all over this great country as I look at the Facebook posts of my friends from BC to Nova Scotia and everyone seemed to have an equally fantastic Dominion Day!
The level of pride that we have in Canada has really crept into our identity over the past couple of decades. When I was a kid The Beachcombers on CBC, Rush and our passion for hockey all felt like things we needed to apologize for because they weren’t American enough.
Many of my friends listened to American musicians, watched American TV and had American dreams.
My dream was American too. To write and draw comics for one of the big American publishers and either live in some “real” city like NY or some place in the south with nice winters.
Well, I got pretty close to my dreams over the years. I lived in the US for 17 years, I worked in comics for Disney, DC and Marvel and even got to live in Phoenix for 5 years.
Funny thing is the dreams have changed over the years. The American dream isn’t the Holy Grail it used to be and our strange, quirky nation to the north began to realize that it was so much more than America in snow-pants.
I returned to Canada in 2002 to a nation that had found an identity.
Regardless of your political beliefs there is a pride in this country and what we are as a people and a nation.
As we travelled to events this weekend there were generations of families and couples and children, many wearing red and white and a lot more in hockey jerseys than should be worn when it is 29 degrees outside.
These Canadians were hanging with their neighbours, drinking beer and wine, laughing and revelling in the sunshine. They were enjoying the home grown entertainment, saluting the sacrifices and history that came before them and relaxing in the safety of their community.
The Canadian dream is ours today and has been with us for a long time now. We live in a secure, free country that provides free health care and excellent education to its people.
Things can be better for us and I trust that leaders will emerge in this country that will allow businesses to flourish, while securing our natural resources and protecting the culture and freedoms that we all cherish.
For me, the thing I can’t help but think about is how much worse people have it in places all over the world. In fact, I would argue that many people around the world cannot fathom a dream that matches our reality.
Canada is the best place on earth and I am sorry that I was so dense that I didn’t realize it until I left and returned here to my home.
I am delighted that I was able to celebrate with all you fine people.