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a muted but beautiful Canada Day

It’s Canada Day, and how lucky we are, the weather is perfect – breezy and a bit grey. The papers are full of Indigenous stories; we all wore orange today, as did much of the country. Canada, no question, has come to a turning point. 

Anna’s boys have gone off with a friend till Saturday; she is at an Indigenous event and will go somewhere else afterwards. Her cat and some things are here for the next while, but after being full to bursting for days, my house is once again silent and nearly empty. Me, two tenants, a cat. Where am I?! 

No longer in the eye of a hurricane.

A friend who has two children about the same age as mine told me, “If I could do it over again, I would not have children.” That knocked me speechless. Unimaginable. My adult children are immensely complicated, interesting human beings. I was just chatting with Cabbagetown neighbours, a writer and a painter, who said they don’t understand why their children are “so conservative,” meaning conventional, quiet, married, with regular jobs. And I don’t understand why my children are so utterly complicated and interesting, so radical. But there you go. I think parents never do understand the human beings under their care. 

Raising children is incredibly hard work. But raising two very different yet similarly relentless young boys is another category of difficult altogether. My son was not like them. If I fed him enough spaghetti, he did sit down sometimes. 

Meanwhile he has made a huge and important change and will work out his new life. So will my daughter.

And I am sitting in the relative silence, listening to the swallows twitter, a neighbour a few yards over laughing with friends, the pop bang of distant fireworks, and the breeze in the trees, the wonderful huge Cabbagetown trees. Alive alive o. 

I was a note-writer – always left notes in the kitchen for my parents when they were out at night. Sam is a fervent note writer. Found this on my desk this morning, from Eli. It’s genetic. (PS: cursive! Joy!)

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About Beth

I began keeping a journal at the age of nine. Nearly fifty years later, I started this online journal, sharing reflections, reviews, updates, and the occasional secret.

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