Happy Birthday Canada!

I’m here, on the Sunshine Coast, looking out on the ocean and listening to the rain. I love it. Peter and I start our house-sitting gig tonight. I’m so happy to be here. Many adventures to come, I hope.

After a long and busy day of moving on Saturday, it was great to relax and celebrate and see friends yesterday on Canada Day. (Huge thanks to Carl, Tanya, and Brent for helping us move, as well as my awesome in-laws!)

It wasn’t sunny for the parade yesterday but it didn’t rain. This was my 2nd Sechelt Canada Day Parade. It begins with locals kids riding their bikes, decorated with flags and red and white streamers. Kids on tricycles are flagged by jogging dads.

Then the classic cars, drivers and passengers honking and waving. It’s a small town so the waves are often directed at friends and acquaintances, with people calling out hellos to each other.

An overhead visitors buzzes the tower.

I know not everyone loves bagpipes but I really do. When they’re played well, at least, I think they’re a powerful instrument. I’m just Scottish enough for that, I guess.

And, of course, the Mounties.

Then the floats begin. Here are a couple I got pictures of:

There were a few references to the queen this year, due to her recent anniversary, no doubt. Here she is with a Mountie and a couer-du-bois and a dog (this was the pet store’s float).

And the parade finishes with the emergency vehicles.

I am proud and thankful to live in Canada. I’m very aware that life is easier and better for me in many ways, simply because of my citizenship. I’ve travelled to a few different countries and many are beautiful and fascinating and amazing but I’m always happy to come home and I’m always proud to introduce myself as a Canadian. We’re a huge and patchwork-style type of country and what it means to be Canadian might vary from province to province but that’s part of what makes our country special too. Even though I wasn’t born in Canada, I’ve always been a citizen, due to my Canadian parents. It’s good to remember not to take that citizenship for granted. Although our country has many flaws and we are not always the polite lumberjacks we may pretend to be, we are fortunate to call this place home. I felt more thankful than ever yesterday when I woke up, rolled over, and looked out on the ocean. Home and Canada might look different for someone from Manitoba, Quebec, or the Northwest Territories, but for me it looks like cedars and firs on a rocky ocean shore.

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