Oh Canada! I believe in defining moments in life. Nine hours after #99 lit the Olympic torch I woke up with the humble pride of our nation still beating. 6:00am Pacific and I didn’t know if I should turn on the TV for more or pick up my pencil and find the words to say…
Overwhelmed is not the word because in my heart I am exactly where I want to be…home. Someone said ‘home is that one place that makes you feel there is no place you’d rather be’. Here at home in 2010 between the rain and snow, between the buses and VANOC’s Chevy’s, between silent escapes and the laughter of my children at my Whistler home, and between the hours that fill the spaces at my shop at the base and the timesless bottomless skiing on Blackcomb , I am found, I am home, and perhaps, I am defined.
In the spirit of the lost people of the Americas, all of us searching for our place in a world inextricably divided, the people of Vancouver and Whistler together share the weight of the world, of expectation and sometimes the tragedy of the days events in that Olympic flame. Those 3 hours…now 12…bring home a lifetime of emotion. With emotion beyond pride we are a people born of love and compassion and we shine a light for the world to see what we all can become (not that we are there…but that we aspire). When asked what made the opening ceremony ‘so Canadian’, former Prime Minister Jean Chretien said this morning, “We dare to share the responsibility.”
“It’s as simple as please and Thankyou.”, the Shane Koyczan poem said http://ow.ly/176l0 …and I don’t know for certain but I trust the people of the world felt what we felt as Canadians. I believe Canada, I believe that moment defined our nation as people watched on television screens in billions of homes around the globe. We live in a place where champions and heroes are people in wheel chairs and mom’s whose sons lost their lives fighting the cancer that took their legs, and men with the wisdom of white hair and long beards who’s words we recognize as our own long before we see the face behind the voice and KD Lang in a man’s suit and bare feet (god bless her and the cattlemen in a place we once shared as home)…”Hallelujah”, is right.
And to Chief Dan George (RIP) and the people of the long houses and totems and the eight aboriginal languages broadcasting the games on ATN, you too define us. It has been 400 years and we finally share your path and your struggle, and while governments and churches and men with guns and fences (and all of the other things we brought here on boats) look back in earnest regret, we have finally seen and heard the voice of a people who call you Canadian too…you define us all.
And to the kid in the corner store who told my wife after the ceremony, “That was lame.”, you are Canadian too damn it, and one day you will know what that means. To the police of the RCMP protecting every corner last night in the rain while we watched our TV’s, I know you know, to the visiting bus driver who lost his way on the #6 route while I was trying to make my way home to my family, to the guys who couldn’t get the last hydraulic arm to raise for the flame in BC Place, to the three native kids who ran beside Wayne for blocks while he was riding in the back of a Chevy pickup (how Canadian is that!) and to my wife and son who stayed up way too late watching and my daughter who is climbing all over me right now…I believe.
I believe in defining moments in life, and now as a nation this is ours.