Canada Day, Pelee Island

No, the old dude in the old coupe is not me – d’you think I’ve just won the lottery? Canada may be a Fair Country, but they don’t just hand out the lottery money to anyone. I’ve got wads and wads of unpaid tickets to prove there is bias.

No, the old dude is just an old dude, in an old car – the car is pretty cool though, huh? – riding along in the Canada Day Parade on Pelee Island, on the first day of July 2012, four years ago. July 2012 was my first Canada Day in Canada, as a newly minted landed immigrant, or permanent resident – of more general interest is the fact that Pelee Island, where Rob and I marked that most memorable of occasions, is the southernmost point in Canada, and a lekker place to chill out for the long weekend, after you’ve made the leisurely trip across Lake Erie on the ferry from Kingsville.

The old guy could as well be me, though, if you look at this symbolically: the smile on the dial, the thumbs-up, the flag overhead, because tomorrow will be my first Canada Day as a new Canadian – a pukka Canadian citizen, with a passport and all, and a citizenship certificate. So tomorrow will be kind of special, well deserving of an open-topped sports coupe and a parade, not to mention a barbecue and loads of good vino. I am open to offers.

I find myself thinking, as I ponder all this, how much has changed in my life over the past four years, how quickly the four years have passed, and yet how long ago it all seems. I am, as I wrote recently, at home in my new country, and daily more appreciative of its quiet virtues – its peacefulness, its tolerance, its unassuming decency, which are all the more remarkable (to paraphrase Barack Obama in Parliament yesterday) for being unremarked-upon and ordinary.

My heart turns also at a moment like this to my home country, the country of my birth and land of my growing-up and much of my history, with a grievous sense, I have to confess, of how angry it is, and conflicted, a feeling of real hurt at how much it still gnaws and tears at the people – friends, family, colleagues, and citizens – who live there. This is not a moment for Pollyanna-ish optimism, but – and I have to remind myself of this – it is not a moment for despair, either, and certainly not a time to give up. A luta continua, as we used to say, and must go on saying.

Who knows, our own lives and careers may well take us back there; I would be glad to be able to pay back once more, and make a contribution. But tomorrow – Canada Day – our plan is to relax and celebrate, with other Canadians.

 

 

 

Advertisements

Posted by Glen Fisher

Writer, photographer. Education and skills consultant.

2 Comments

  1. Happy Canada Day fellow Canadian! Having just spent another Canada Day on Pelee Island, you may (like myself) be comforted to know that amidst all of life’s ups and downs and constant changes, some places remain pretty much the same…Who knows, perhaps we passed by each other that day, four years ago…

    Like

    Reply

    1. Thanks for the kind comments, thanks for reading, and thanks for signing up! Pelee Island is a special kind of place, isn’t it?

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply

Let me know what you think - comments and feedback are always welcome!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s