OUR HOME AND NATIVE LAND
TRUE PATRIOT LOVE,
IN ALL THY SONS COMMAND
WITH GLOWING HEARTS,
WE SEE THEE RISE
THE TRUE NORTH STRONG AND FREE
FROM FAR AND WIDE,
WE STAND ON GUARD FOR THEE
GOD KEEP OUR LAND
GLORIOUS AND FREE
OH CANADA, WE STAND ON GUARD, FOR THEE
DITTO LAST LINE
photo taken on a glorious day in early autumn on the banks of a small northern lake near me.
Susan, giver of the beautiful scarf, asked for a commentary on 'the true north, strong and free'. well, firstly, the 'true north' isn't the same as magnetic north or the north pole.... in fact, it's a moving target that changes constantly..... something like wishy-washy canadian opinion.
but north we are. and, speaking for my small rural-ish community, despite my cynicism about humanity in general, we're true in the sense that there's still a sense of community that brings out the good in folks when the bad stuff happens. blatantly mercenary behaviour (note the british/canadian spelling, as in colour and valour) is not tolerated in any but the most wealthy, and i don't travel in them there circles. yes there are still people around here who speak like that.
as for strong, there's a sturdy remnant of the pioneer spirit that built the country still living here. people are self reliant and determined (sometimes known as stubborn.... a small semantic deviation). there are more entrepreneurs per capita in northern alberta than anywhere else in the americas. we have the highest per capita rate of inventions too. we're rist takers. that's a statistical fact, as shown by the high rates of vehicle insurance (and motor vehicle accidents and deaths). it's a good thing the community pitches in when the house burns down or the cows go through the ice on the dugout.... because not many of us can bear to ask for help when we need it. we mostly drive 4 wheel drive pickup trucks, because there's always stuff to haul - from manure to 1/4 million dollar 5th wheel trailers and speedboats in the summer and snowmobiles in the winter. we'll do it ourselves, thankyaverymuch. and much as i disagree with the whole concept of war, it's a fact that Canaadian troops distinguised themselves, and were much respected by the world in both world wars, and continue to be held in high esteem in today's peace keeping forces. and all that 'we stand on guard' stuff seems pretty militant and old army to me, but i'm not your typical citizen. it seems every s.u.v. and pickup truck that drives past me as i ride my bicycle around town has a yellow 'support our troops' ribbon sticker on it.
free?! well, maybe as promiscuous as anyone else, but it's a danged expensive place to live, and there's not a lot being given away, that's worth much. political freedom is questionable; alberta is considered one of the great bastions of the canadian conservative party. the conservatives seem to subscribe to the philosophy that it's easier to apologise than to get permission (as in, let your voters have a word in the discussion) ...so they pretty much do as they damn please and let the seeting masses continue to seethe ineffectually. after all, we're too polite to do much about it. but if you made the mistake of telling some cowboy in the line dance next to you in the local pub that he wasn't a free man, you might get your lights punched out, or start a riot.
i think this might have been a rant. sorry su.