Saturday, July 02, 2011

Walk in the Park

Belleville's waterfront
It's been a while since I was down at the waterfront in Belleville, and Jenn in her brilliance suggested we take the kids down for a walk there before the fireworks. Good call.

The assorted riff-raff

Owen followed big bro everywhere.

I'm patriotic. I may not support our present government and their dismantling of our social state, but I do believe in Canada. What we have built here over the last 144 years in this country is extraordinary. It is not in the health care, or the greatness of our armed forces who risk their lives for our ideals, it is not the economy or the banks, nor is it the laws or even the freedoms. All of these things can be taken away. No, it is the people. It is the combined histories of all our people, coming together to do something we believe in.

I'm not by any means naive about Canada. I am often disappointed in my country, and write about government often, but when I can take my kids out into a park, with no threat of violence, and we can watch something beautiful like a fireworks display, I am grateful.

There were many things in our history that could have given us a very different state. From numerous American invasions actually succeeding to Nazis winning the second world war, to Russia crossing the ice cap (though with some of the Russians I've now met that might not have been so bad ... j/k), my point is that there were threats, and despite those threats I think we can take pride in our country.

Stopping to read the signs :)
Daisy throwing rocks.

We had a wonderful walk. We saw a turtle, Owen said hello to random strangers, saw some dogs, walked out to the end of the jetty at Myer's pier, watched a guy catch a fish, and over the course of hours, with no real plans, we tired out three little guys pretty good. Later, Cole and I returned for the fireworks while the littlest guys went to bed, and sitting out across the water watching them pop and crack and flash, I thought about what these really meant.

Bay Bridge, and Myer's pier.

We have much to be proud of. I feel that we're moving toward something great. I believe that if we could export what it is to be Canadian to everyone in the world, our tolerance and our complete rejection of violence and oppression, we would better the lives of everyone. We built this. Our ancestors built this, from scratch, from vague ideas about what we wanted, coming together in laws and rights and more importantly, in attitude. We can help others build this, too.

In simplicity, I felt what the Chinese must have felt seeing the first fireworks nearly a thousand years ago. I poked a little fun at my inner child whose heart beat a little faster and anticipated the next bang, and thought: "Look what we can do!" Sometimes it need not be any more complex than that.

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