What it Means to Be Canadian

The rich and bountiful stolen land, connected by dreams of megalomania fallen into disrepair

A land of space for all and many more, even on the southern border with the States

We the North have much to be ‘sorry’ for, for sins of the past abound aplenty.

And still, we have these beautiful moments, where you’ve been holding the door of the grocery store for the last five minutes and you see a fellow human 10 metres from the door, and conceivably you could go in yourself, and perhaps it is silly to hold the door open for people physically capable, and instead you dial up your smile, nod your head to them, and hold onto that door.

And we weep at mountains, and wide open spaces, and the endless skies at midsummer.

And we howl at the cold moon in winter and pray for northern lights to save us from the forever darkness.

And in April we are shorn of coats and mittens and boots, though still there be snow, and we dare that vast whiteness with our sun-starved bodies, proudly displayed in shorts and flip-flops. Dare it to come again in May, June, July, August, September, because yes it will come, the question is only of ‘when’?

And we flock to cities and we love it, and we crave the outdoors when we do so

We climb rooftops and trees and look out at the city lights and star lights alike. This vast land

What is it that connects us? From the North to the South, from the West to the East –

We are all called ‘Canadian’, and yet, we are so far away.

And we drink Tim Hortons coffee loyally, although honestly the taste is not that good. We consume more donuts per person than any other country. We will throw an extra toonie down to ‘pay-it-forward’ so the next person can have their day made. We all have terrible data plans on our cell phones. We all know that there is something that makes us different from our southern neighbours, and it fills us with a swelling pride, although putting words to it may be difficult to find. We are tested by our winters, and overcome them by our willfulness and our steadfastness. We are sturdy. We are the North.