Never had I felt more proud to be Canadian than at yesterday’s Canada Day Celebration in Hatley, Quebec. Both Francophone and Anglophones gathered to celebrate this great nation called Canada.
It all began with the parade. As I sat at my stand with my books and paintings, I watched some of the various representations of who we are as a free nation.
I saw laughter as the children rode through on their decorated bikes and a brightly dressed clown wove in and out on his unicycle around the floats. I saw community as the Hatley Outdoor Clinic passed by and the “nurse” squirted water into the crowd with his syringe. Candy flew to the spectators as various groups advertised their diverse floats. Everything from church groups, music fests, and community functions rode by, while prancing ponies and bulky work horses stepped in tune.
My personal favorites were the war veterans who wore their badges of honour and marched in time as the public clapped and cheered for their heroism. I wonder if they were reminiscing over their war time experiences as they walked. Were they mourning their friends and family that gave their lives for our freedom? Were they thankful and proud of who they are and what they have done, so that I can be standing here today? Were they thinking of how, because of their bravery, we are free to live, free to choose, and free to dream? I hope so. (Thank you dear soldiers for risking your lives so my family and I can live happily and be in harmony with my fellow Canadians).
The sun was hot, and it felt good as my husband and I sat at my booth. My dad surprised us with a fresh strawberry shortcake dessert. That hit the spot! More special moments appeared when a childhood buddy from British Columbia popped by with her beautiful smile and updates from her life. It was great to share my work all those who came over, and to visit with friends and others in the community. Various other activities happened throughout the afternoon. We heard music, listened as the children cheered one another on in their team games and much more. It was truly a wonderful day of celebration.
At the end of it all, we collected my paintings and books (and delicious Canadian honey I purchased from a nearby vendor), and filled our van with less than we came with. It was a great feeling, but then as we prepared to leave, our van wouldn’t start. Up went the hood and out went the prayers for someone to give us a boost. A stranger quickly saw our need and rescued us. In no time, our van was ready to roll. Such kindness was shown — real Canadian hospitality. Once again, I was proud to be Canadian.
Thank-you God for Canada. Please continue to keep our land glorious and free!