Friday, July 01, 2011

Canada Day 2011

This has been a difficult year. In Alberta, a forest fire ravaged the town of Slave Lake. In Saskatchewan and Manitoba, the Souris, the Assiniboine and the Red Rivers have inundated huge swaths of prairie farm land. In Quebec, the Richeleau River has twice driven its valley dwellers from their homes.

Many of us remain unemployed. Our youth struggle to find a place in society. And the government which recently took office was not -- if one is to believe the polls --  the choice of a majority of Canadians.

There would seem to be little to celebrate. Yet, with each Canada Day, my thoughts return to one place. It's not Parliament Hill, although I always try to watch the ceremonies there. It is not to the Montreal of my youth. It is not to our home on the shores of Lake Ontario. My thoughts return to Peyto Lake, in the Canadian Rockies.

At Trent University's recent Convocation, Sandra Laronde reminded her audience that the way to survive a journey is not to look at your feet and count the steps. The strength to endure, she said, comes from always keeping your eyes on the horizon. For me, Peyto Lake represents the horizon. For others, the horizon will be somewhere else.

Today is a day not to count our steps, but to look outwards and to appreciate the beauty which is before us.

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