Monday Morning Musings

Posted on September 10, 2018 under Monday Morning Musings with one comment

Sunset in Nelson, B.C.


Oh Canada, our home and native land.

We crossed the mountains and the prairies and traveled dark roads through Northern Ontario late at night. We saw wild fires in the hills and pristine rivers. We witnessed the majesty of towering Douglas firs and the vastness of wheat fields. We zipped along country roads where we felt we were the only people on the planet only to be brought back to earth by heavy traffic when he hit the 400 near Parry Sound.

True patriot love, in all of us command.

If you want to try and understand why Canada is so hard to govern, hop in a car someday and drive from coast to coast to coast. You will quickly realize the enormity of this landmass and the complexity of its makeup. You will come to know why so many of us cherish it and feel that it is the best country in which to live. So much of the population live in a handful of big cities and sometimes you can travel a hundred kilometres without seeing a single human being, such is the vastness.

With glowing hearts, we see thee rise, the true north strong and free.

Despite all the attention that cities like Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal receive, it is often the smaller towns and cities that produce some of Canada’s most recognizable names. We drove past Shaunovan, Saskatchewan, a village of 1750 souls that produced quite possibly the greatest female hockey player of all time, Hayley Wickenheiser. It’s hard to escape the image of Bobby Orr in Parry Sound. I’m no expert on hockey but I always felt that Orr was the greatest player to lace them up. Sault Ste. Marie is home to Dr.Roberta Bondar, Canada’s first female astronaut and the first neurologist in space during the flight of Discovery in 1992.

From far and wide, oh Canada, we stand on guard for thee.

By and large, Canadians are pretty decent folk. You end up inadvertently striking up conversations with complete strangers on a long road trip in restaurants, gas stations and rest areas. Canadians don’t have a monopoly on kindness and decency but as a collective we don’t seem to be as driven and competitive as some countries. We enjoyed spending a few nights with friends and friends of friends. The hospitality was extraordinary. I have come to the conclusion that Canadians laugh, joke and poke fun at each other more frequently than most other nations. We take things seriously but not ourselves.

God keep our land, glorious and free, Oh Canada we stand on guard for thee.

We can’t be complacent. We mustn’t take our good fortune for granted. Our country is clean and safe. We enjoy an abundance of riches: our forests, minerals, and plenty of water. We live in a democratic country where governments change hands peacefully and orderly. In a seemingly hostile world, we must maintain our civility and decorum.

We’re in the home stretch. Two more days and we’ll be back in Nova Scotia, the home of Keith’s beer and Wheel pizza. By the way, on a short whistle stop in Lethbridge, Alberta, I met up with two former colleagues from the teaching fraternity. We taught together in Fairview, Alberta in the late seventies and I hadn’t seen them in 39 years. We did our best to cram in as much information as 40 minutes would allow. As we got up to leave, one of them mentioned The Wheel. They had been in Antigonish years ago and had a few memorable slices!

Put this on your bucket list. Drive across Canada before you get too old. May I suggest that you don’t try a non- stop 54 hour drive from Edmonton to Antigonish with four children, as one of my faithful readers has done on more than one occasion, unless this is your idea of penance for some transgression?

Canada. What a country.

Oh Canada, we stand on guard for thee.

Have a great week.

P.S. Why don’t you regale us with your favourite Canadian travel story? Best story gets the first copy of my fourth book about my travels in India which will be published in November.


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One Response to Monday Morning Musings

  1. Rick Benson says:

    Being a Navy Brat later growing up in Wpg later living in almost every province and driving this drive many times. I find you have captured this very well Len. Thanks!

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