The past four and a half years with you have been startling, amazing and downright life changing. I didn’t know a country could be like this.
Admittedly I made the first move, applying for permanent residency while I still lived with my previous country. The United States had been good to me and I don’t regret being born there, but in recent years I found we just had less and less in common. There were our differences in values, in politics, our divergent beliefs in climate change. We voted for different presidential candidates in 2000. His man won, or at least the Supreme Court said so. There were those short stretches of peace and then it seemed like war was breaking out everywhere. We both knew things weren’t working out, but neither of us knew how to step away.
It’s funny. Sometimes you don’t see your next door neighbour as anything more than a border until one day you go through customs and suddenly realize it could be the country you’ve always been looking for. Oh, Canada, with your bevy of island jewels, your stunning rainforests, your golden prairies and crisp white tundra. Why, I get all warm and fuzzy just thinking about your land mass. I haven’t been shy about telling everyone how much I care for you. I love how you take care of everyone’s health care, how you let women decide what’s best for their bodies and their lives, and that you see it’s a no-brainer to allow people to marry who they love, man or woman. I know that sometimes, depending upon your majority, you may lean towards changing your mind on these issues. Darling, you’re a bigger country than that. Be brave and do the right thing. Stand by your convictions and your compassion; there’s plenty of it to go around for everyone. And speaking of compassion, can we talk about the tar sands and those cute baby seals?
I’d never been willing to move for a relationship before, but I was ready to take the leap with you. You’ve been nothing but supportive since I moved here. Even when I was out of work and down to just a few dollars in my bank account, you were there with your Employment Insurance to get me through. You’re not afraid to invite thousands people into our backyard for the Olympics and yet you are just as comfortable with a few close friends sharing one of our spectacular sunsets over Victoria’s inner harbour.
Since we’ve lived together I’ve felt my own boundaries stretch beyond anything I could have comprehended with my ex-country. I never would have dreamt of going off on my own to Turkey nor had the courage to be a painter’s model without your steady support. You’re secure enough to give me space on a small island when I need it, but you sure know how to show a woman a good time in the city. It feels safe on your shores and my heart has never lived in a more contented place.
All that being said, I want you to know I just took the next step. Are you ready? Okay, here goes…
Last week I sent off my application for citizenship.
I know, this may feel sudden, but it’s been nearly 5 years since we got together and, frankly, both of us are losing a bit of shoreline each year. We’ve been hinting at a more formal commitment for quite some time and I guess one of us just had to say it first. So my dear Canada, yes, the answer is yes. I will be your citizen, if you’ll have me.
Truth be told, you had me at eh.
With compatriot anticipation,
Red maple leaf – Morguefile