A Few Words on Canada Day
Today I celebrate Canada Day as a Canadian for the very first time. I became a Permanent Resident back in January, which was one of the happiest days of my life. I fell in love with Canada back in 2009 when I came to the country for the first time. I went to Newfoundland and it was just going to be another story, just another assignment, but no. The warmth of the welcome, the inspirational awe of the landscape from soaring mountains and endless wild spaces to the moose, whales and puffins that lived there, right through to the exciting and unfamiliar foods (Bakeapples! Cod tongues! Scrunchions!) made me want to explore further.
So I came back, and the next year—after an incredible journey across the country by train from Toronto—finally arrived in Vancouver and I knew that I was in love, and that this would be my new home. Two years later I packed up my bags, my beloved dog Freddie, my whole life in England and arrived on September 6th 2012, somewhat tear-stained, very anxious but full of hope. That small act of stepping into the unknown has paid off a thousand-fold with a wonderful family of friends, a wealth of incredible opportunities to write and work, and the quiet previously unknown joy of being somewhere so very big, so very beautiful and so very pristine.
Put simply, Canada is beautiful, and it often brings me to tears of joy: its gleaming turquoise lakes, the mountains and trees reflected in the calm waters. Its awe-inspiring icebergs moving serenely through the sea. The tangle of rainforest, damp and fragrant, orange arbutus bark glowing, wisps of Old Man’s Beard drifting from the branches. The glorious soaring, snow-dusted mountains, the golden beauty of the seemingly-endless prairies, its snow, its ice, its desert.
And then you have its people: their belief that to be Canadian means being inclusive. The sense that we are better together, that we each bring a piece of ourselves and our former homes together to form a better, brighter—and more multicultural—Canada. I’ve never been so proud to be who I am than when I got that piece of paper which said I was part of Canada now. I feel lucky to be here, I feel compelled to work hard to show that they were right to have me, and can’t wait to celebrate my first Canada Day as a Canadian citizen in 2020.