What Makes You Proud?

Sometimes I am moved to tears with pride for my city and my country.
This weekend is one of those times.

It’s not a “hoo ah” military, American, chest puffing pride. Not that there is anything wrong with that, it’s just a little more arrogance than we tend to allow ourselves to celebrate.

It’s a quiet, gentle, some would say “Canadian” pride.

It’s little things…
The kindness and openness of strangers.
Eye contact, smiles, easy impromptu conversations.

I burst with pride when visitors praise my city and my country.

Down by the market, I played peek-a-boo with a baby, strapped to the front of her thickly accented grandfather. She was gorgeous, and friendly and in the finger pointing stage. (all babies go through it) so we “fist bumped” fingers a few times, complete with Meesh sound effects, which got me oodles of giggles and grins, and filled me with smiles and happy endorphins. I gushed about how beautiful she was, and thanked her for the smiles, and her grandfather thanked me over and over again for my kind words.

Later, when I emerged from the subway onto Bloor St, the Dyke March was heading towards us. (tis Pride Weekend here in Toronto, with the big Parade on Sunday) So I stopped to show my support. A lovely gay gentleman had traveled from Ohio to take part in our festivities, and was selling rainbow beads in support of a youth educational/support program. He said he couldn’t fathom anything like this in Ohio, almost shamefully, and told us he was so thrilled to be here. He was selling beads for $3 for 1 or 2 for $5. It was just me, so I asked for 1, and gave him two twoonies for his cause. He doubled back and gave me the second string of beads just cuz. So I promised to “pay them forward”. A few minutes later I struck up a conversation with a lovely Lesbian couple, also out showing their pride and supporting their “sisters”. As I was leaving, I told them the story of the beads, and like a lei, I presented the beads to one of the ladies. In return I got a great big hug, from a complete stranger.
This is what being Canadian is all about, or “Aboot”

My afternoon was spent tucked in a cool theatre watching an independent film from Canadian actress/director Sarah Polley, called “Take this Waltz”. Seemed a perfect movie for Canada Day weekend as it featured not only Canada, but also Toronto, prominently in the background. What a wonderful movie. Such an honest look at love and relationships, and yearning, and getting, and yet still yearning, and finally discovering that you need to find what you’re looking for from within ultimately. (a journey I’ve been on for a while)
I of course fell madly in love with Luke Kirby after the first scene with him in it. *sigh*
I’m so proud of the work Canadian filmmakers do, and our amazing Film industry here in Canada.

To cap off my day, I enjoyed a lovely steak dinner on the patio at Whistler’s, listening to a live Jazz duo (as part of the annual TD Jazz Festival) sipping on a glass of Ontario red wine, followed by a lengthy conversation with a 20yr landed immigrant from Romania, about life, and food, and Canada, and ironically, pride. *sensing a theme today*

I’m proud of myself for making the most of my day, and indulging in all the little things that make life … well… liveable.

Happy Pride & Happy Canada Day my friends! (fitting those two celebrations should merge together on one day!)

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