Monday, July 1st, we celebrate Canada Day here. Shortly, my husband Gem and I, along with my mother and stepfather, will be heading to Sorrento, B.C. to a friend's cottage on Shuswap Lake for the long weekend. It's about an hour's drive from Kamloops, where we live. Temperatures are expected to soar, reaching 36 degrees by Monday!
I have spent the last few days cooking and baking in preparation; a big smoked, glazed ham, German potato salad, red cabbage and apple casserole, broccoli salad, Greek salad, lemon biscuits for the strawberry shortcake which will be dessert on Canada Day, a rub for the ribs, Morning glory muffins and Banana/blueberry muffins, two kinds of homemade salad dressings. The picnic cooler stand in readiness by the door. Lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers and sundry other vegetables await in aerated bags. We plan to stop at a fruit stand on the way for peaches and strawberries. Gem came home from work yesterday with a big bag of fresh B.C. cherries. Beer and wine were purchased last evening.
Living here in Canada, I am thankful for so much ....
Thankful for the ebb and flow of the cultural diversity and spiritual traditions which cover Canada like a blessed wave from the ocean to the mountains, to the rainforests, to the tiny prairie towns, to the arctic, to the urban cappuccinos being sipped in dozens of cities.
For the First Nations peoples dancing and singing to the plangent sound of the drums.
For the elegant women wearing jewelled saris.
For the Asian men and women gracefully engaged in Tai Chi by the river’s edge.
Thankful for the voices I hear in English and French and Cantonese and Hindu and Dutch and Ukrainian and Italian and German and Afrikaans and Spanish and Greek and Norwegian, and for the friends who speak those languages, embrace their ethnic culture, and are also proud of being Canadian.
Thankful that I understand that grief comes to human hearts of all colours and creeds and ways of being.
Thankful for the connections that let me know the kindred in human beings who are different from me.
I am thankful for the fact that in Canada, we’re a cultural mosaic rather than a melting pot.
(My grandsons celebrating!)
If you are Canadian, Happy Canada Day! I hope you are celebrating with those you love. To my American friends, Happy Independence Day on July 4th. May you have a joyous holiday.
May we all be thankful, in every country, for the sense of belonging given in the ritual of celebration.