Tuesday, April 24, 2018
Canada is more like a small town than a country.
Yes, I know Canada is proud of its large, sophisticated cities. But, as a people, a small town attitude persists.
Family. Community. Social cohesion. The conservative values we often associate with home towns thrives in the country.
We saw that spirit following the school bus deaths in Humboldt last month. What would have been a sad newspaper article in most countries caused a wave of personal grief in Canada. Throughout the entire country. What was local became national.
I did not write about those deaths at the time. Even as an American, the event seemed too personal. But, I did share the sense of loss with my Canadian friends here.
During the winter months in our little villages, the overwhelming number of northern visitors are Canadian. I count a number of them as friends. And a larger number as acquaintances.
This morning's newspaper brings more news of tragedy. The driver of a van has killed ten people in Toronto.
The details are far too common. Rented vehicle. Driven onto a sidewalk. People out for a stroll on a sunny day are dead or injured.
No motive is known. But the government, in soothing bureaucratese, disclaims any national security connection. They mean there are no known terrorist links.
Not that it matters. People are dead for no discernible reason.
Families grieve. Friends will join them. And, for a time, a national heart with local instincts will be broken.
But, Canadians have retained another conservative instinct. Hope.
At the beginning of this piece, I inserted a performance of Elgar's "Nimrod" -- a piece that is often played at moments of solemnity amongst those who were once ruled by Britain. It is an appropriate composition for both tragedies.
However, that is not the note on which I want to end this morning. Because Canadians are a people of hope, I look forward to that day when they can once again focus on a composition that unites them as one family.
My heart is broken for the loss of the dead. But it will mend. And life, even though it is a daily struggle, will go on.
May God's healing power speed that recovery.