When I was a kid, I used to dream about different countries. I would dream about running through the desert, swimming in exotic oceans, and falling in love with new cities. I’ve managed to do all these things, most often with our neighbour, the good ol USA. I’ve been to 45 states, driven over 100,000 miles of their highways and could probably write a guidebook about American road travel. I’m known among my group of friends as ‘the traveler’. But I do have a confession to make: With all the galavanting around the globe I’ve done, I’ve never managed to really include my home country.
Sometimes I feel like a terrible Canadian. I’ve barely left Ontario, and I spent my childhood dreaming of going places that seemed so much more exciting than Canada. But every time I leave, I discover one universal truth: Everyone I meet is in envy of my birthplace. They all tell me how lucky I should feel to be from this fine land, and it’s high time I was as vocal about it as they are.
Canada, I’m so sorry I’ve treated you like the ex-boyfriend I know will always take me back when I decide to settle down, you deserve better. I’m so sorry I keep trying to leave you, because I know deep down you will always be my home. I’m so proud to be from a place that is synonymous with peace and cleanliness, where my manners enter the room before I do. I’m so proud to be from a country whose flag I can proudly display on my backpack when I go away, one that tries to take care of its citizens. I’m so sorry I’ve neglected you in the past. I’m so sorry I’ve had the dreaded ‘Canadian Music Shame Syndrome’, because you have spawned some great sounds that I fill my life with.
So today, along with my love letter to my home, I’m sharing one of my favorite songs by a Canadian band. The Constantines are not only canucks, they’re also from my city, Guelph. This is one of my favorite road trip songs, it sounds best on a windy day with your arm out of the window. So hit play, listen to a great Canadian song, and remember to thank your country today.
Happy Birthday Canada, I love you. No matter how far I stray from you, I will always come home.
“Soon enough, work and love will make a man out of you……..”