Oh, look… June! And there was something I was forgetting… ah, right: those thirty posts I write every year in June. That again. For the fifth year in a row I’m back to a month of daily blogging: each day a new post on a new topic, but on the same blog-per-day topic as last year, creating another set of Those 30 Posts in June. Today, that post just happens to be about something that I’ve:
Despite being born in Canada, at some level I think I still identify a bit as an immigrant. After all, our family has only really been in these parts, what, ninety or a hundred years at most? Most of those years I have not even been around for, and most of the ones for which I was I tend to take mostly for granted. I say that I still identify a bit as an immigrant because so often in this multicultural blend of nationalities, we are carefully prodded to tag ourselves with this idea of ancestry and defining where our grandparents or great-grandparents came from: I’m a little bit Dutch and a little bit German and a little bit Irish, all blended together into a well-established Canadian mutt. I don’t necessarily identify with any of those ancestral homelands, but occasionally we’re reminded that in the grand scheme of things we’re still newcomers, too.
And occasionally we’re reminded of not only the nature of this society in which we live, but the value it can hold for others who are not (yet) part of it.
This morning (and running into and through lunchtime) I had the honour of hanging out with our neighbors and friends who, at about 1 pm mountain standard time, crossed the finish line of a seven year long journey to Canadian Citizenship… a thing that I was handed without any extra effort whatsoever about a nanosecond after exiting the womb in the mid-seventies… a thing which they’ve worked for, planned for, moved for, queued for, and probably lost immeasurable quantities of sleep, opportunity, resources, and so many other things I would neither fathom nor fully appreciate.
We attended, we and some of their other friends who happened to work downtown and who could take a long lunch break to welcome the country’s newest members, along with a small auditorium of other onlookers and a hundred and twenty-two new Canadians.
It was a government affair, so of course there was queuing, paperwork, ceremony, waiting, speeches, formality, ringing iPhones, crying babies, and photo ops. But in the end it was all about little more than handing out a very tangible piece of legal paper… and something more ineffable known as national identity.
All-in-all it made me a little bit proud and a little bit patriotic, too.