Thursday, July 1

Canada Day

It's Canada Day, the summer patriotic holiday of Canadians. We may go to the parade this morning, and then to the airport to pick Libby up. The boys are thinking of golfing this afternoon, but their plans aren't firm, and it's a bit foggy/smokey right now, so I don't know if the golfing will be a go or not. For sure we will having a barbecue this evening.

One thing we won't do is go see fireworks, because there aren't any. It's hard to have a good fireworks display when it doesn't get dark. It's been tried--one year the government of Canada sponsored fireworks for Canada Day in every provincial or territorial capital, and we got daylight fireworks--but the results always dissapoint rather than impress.

So, for Canada Day, from Roughing It in the Bush by Susanna Moodie--an autobiographical account of her family's immigration to Canada and their difficult homesteading years--a lamenting poem that turns to a thankful one:
Oh Canada! Thy Gloomy Woods.
A Song.

Oh Canada! thy gloomy woods
Will never cheer the heart;
The murmur of thy mighty floods
But cause fresh tears to start
From those whose fondest wishes rest
Beyond the distant main;
Who, 'mid the forests of the West,
Sigh for their homes again.

I, too, have felt the chilling blight
Their shadows cast on me,
My thought by day - my dream by night -
Was of my own country.
But independent souls will brave
All hardships to be free;
No more I weep to cross the wave
My native land to see.

But ever as a thought most bless'd,
Her distant shores will rise,
In all their spring-tide beauty dress'd,
To cheer my mental eyes.
And treasured in my inmost heart,
The friends I left behind;
But reason's voice, that bade us part,
Now bids me be resign'd.

I see my children round me play,
My husband's smiles approve;
I dash regretful tears away,
And lift my thoughts above.
In humble gratitude to bless
The Almighty hand that spread
Our table in the wilderness
And gave my infants bread.
If this sort of poetry is too sentimental for you, you could try this.

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