……is a funny thing. I realized that at the football game last night.
After living overseas for almost 8 years, and only flying back for month-long holidays and a mad scramble to visit family and friends, I felt more like a citizen of the world. Canada was where I was born, and it definitely has many advantages over a lot of other countries, but… did I really want to live there?
I remember the first time I went overseas, during my university years. I went to the UK with a choir, and as well as singing in several music festivals, we toured all over England, northern Wales, Scotland and even spent a couple of nights in Dublin.
Our first concert was in the small Welsh village of Hope, not far from Chester – and also very close to the festival town of Llangollen, where we competed. Our conductor was Welsh, and he had taught in Hope.
To close our concert, we sang “O Canada” – and then the audience stood as one, and treated us to the national anthem of Wales. Shivers ran down our spines as we sang – they doubled when those proud Welsh thundered back in such amazing voice and harmony. It was quite moving to sing our song in another land.
I also remember the choir breaking into song with “Something To Sing About” as we landed back in Canada on our return home.
So…. back to last night. Flags waving, a stadium of over 30,000 football fans following the soloist in “O Canada”…….. we get half way through, and all of a sudden there are tears in my eyes, and my throat is too choked up with emotion to sing the rest.
Yes – I am Canadian – proud to be, and happy to be back in my native land.