Wednesday, 29 October 2014

My Home and Native Land

The past two weeks have been somewhat surreal. Two Canadian soldiers were attacked and killed on Canadian soil. The news sent me absolutely reeling.

I have many friends who work and live in the downtown core of Ottawa and I was concerned for them, their families and all citizens and first responders.

It wasn't so much that these acts were unthinkable, it was more that I was not able to collectively grieve with my colleagues, my community and my country.

I have been deeply moved by the Bruce MacKinnon's cartoon depicting our bronze war memorial solders aiding Cpl. Nathan Cirillo. I have also been moved by the people of Cold Lake who helped to remove graffiti from a mosque targeted after these attacks.

I have also been left feeling impotent to "do" something. Through the internet we were able to watch Prime Minister Harper's speech live to Canadians. While it did not move me, it did make me feel connected to my country, to Canadians and to my colleagues. I knew I was doing what a hundred thousands Canadians were doing and that gave me some comfort.

It is in times of crisis that we as a country or as a community seem at our best. I read numerous posts urging people to love and not hate; to raise people up not cast them down; to judge not lest you be judged.

Leonard Cohen's Anthem has been running through my head this week:

The birds they sang
at the break of day
Start again
I heard them say
Don't dwell on what
has passed away
or what is yet to be.
Ah the wars they will
be fought again
The holy dove
She will be caught again
bought and sold
and bought again
the dove is never free.

Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack in everything
That's how the light gets in.
There will always be conflict, sometimes it will be on our shores, and sometimes a far away shore. What matters is how we respond; are we better for it, did we fight for those who could not do it for themselves? I believe Canada and Canadians will not be deterred from pursuing a world that embraces basic human rights for all.

So as a Canadian I am taking comfort in the fact that in my very small corner of the world in a very small way I am helping youth; so that they do not become disenfranchised by poverty, hopelessness, lack of access to education and drug abuse. Whenever we reach out in a positive way beyond our own borders we broaden the knowledge the world has of Canada, of what we stand for and what we won't stand for!

God keep our land, glorious and free.


  1. Sara, as always so eloquently expressed. Serving from afar, you nevertheless still managed to capture our collective, national mood. Take care and God bless.

    1. Sara, I enjoy reading about your adventures in Grenada. Hope you feel better soon. Say hi to Brent and the boys.