This day holds a cornucopia of images and memories in my mind. Most of those memories call back to my childhood. Summer times spent camping at the lake, spreading blankets on carpet like grass to watch in wonder as the evening’s focus ended underneath the sky. The sky, which entertained me as televisions did others. The annual fireworks display was the main event of the entire day for me. The parades were fun, remarkable and festive. But year after year, no matter where our family was we would gather with the sea of mounting aficionados to marvel at the nocturnal show. I clutched mini Canadian flags in my tiny hands covered in matching temporary tattoos. I waited in anticipation for the first lone bang that signaled the start of the show. I folded my legs underneath me and watched. Multi coloured sequins were dashed against the black abyss of night sky. The shimmering pinpoints of light brightened the many upturned faces captivated by the spectacle. Arcs of fire blazed in an orchestra of life; random, burning, intense, fleeting, fiery, wonderful, and deliberate life. Silence encapsulated the thousands of enthralled spectators inside one sentiment, awe. No one presumed to move a muscle as the radiant vision performed for all, no one dared shatter the magic. The show ended, as eventually all must. Some would scoff at the mediocrity of the display. How government funding must have been cut this year. They would tell of how grand the display had been in years past, for in our memories we hold the standard against which we see the world. The magic had ended and all had returned to their own realities. For some, the cynicism was a safety net against their tainted veracities. I would wait with my family as the flock of people scattered like seagulls. I stared at the star speckled sky willing the magic to stay longer. The twilight calm punctuated the crescendo of enchantment for me. So quickly the delight ended, but long after, the emotion stayed. To be remembered on this patriotic day as one of the many things we should all be thankful for.
Happy Canada Day everyone!