I was born, by luck and design, in a country that was free. I lived in frog soaked fields and drove in a bus to school past yellowed farms, wash on spinning laundry lines, and birds making homes in trees solid and sweet with syrup.

At night, when the crickets sang their shared symphony, I slept under a moon that came through windows in silent prayer.

This country is wide and open, in more than landscape, its doors swinging easily, the way a screen door clatters as you walk past with a plate of watermelon balanced on your hip.

This country is wild springs, rain that is wet and then frozen, stopping streets and keeping home for a day the ones who need to rest. She is hot muggy summers, small black flies circling screaming children running through sprinklers on lawns green and new. She is riotous fall, maple keys spiraling down wind tunneled leaf foggy evenings. She is winter cold, silent, the drifts of snow greying with age and the wisdom of wear another sweater, stay sitting, stoke the fire.

She is mothering and wild and true, and she is mine.

It does not matter where I live now, by luck or design, what landscape I see as I look out windows of the home I have chosen. I return again and again, to remember who I am, who I was, and who I will ever be, nurtured by this country, this land, this Canada.