From Where I Sit – Celebrating Canada

No one would dispute the merits of mindfulness any more than we’d argue against motherhood or apple pie. What’s not to like? It promises us serenity, gratitude, awareness. It forces us to slow down despite the push and pull of our daily responsibilities. It ensures that we stop the insanity long enough to notice and appreciate the blessings in our lives.

That’s how I felt on Saturday. It was day two of Andrews, Alberta’s annual fair, Sportoff Days. As county councillor, Roy had to ride on a float in the parade. Blessing number one was that Greg, Carrie, Hilary, and Grady all came out for the day. It’s amazing what we all do for the love of that little boy.

Parades take on a new significance. Not that we were agog admiring the creativity of the floats; on the contrary, we were scurrying to collect the candy thrown into the street. We dodged horses and vehicle tires to fill the ice cream pail I had brought for Grady.

Next we killed some time at the school playground, as Grady and Hilary swung and dangled. The rest of us felt the heat on our skin and thought about searching out some shade. Then it was on to the arena to check out the ball hockey tournament. How did Grady manage to leave home without his hockey stick?

Before we headed to the fair grounds, I made the mistake of telling Grady that the replica hockey rink would be there for kids to play in. Can we all say ?non-stop pestering? until it finally arrived? He could barely pull himself away long enough to pet a rabbit in the farm petting zoo.

Through it all, my kids reconnected with former classmates and caught up on the news of others? careers and kids. Roy talked to constituents. I observed it all and floated from one group to another.

Eventually we managed to drag Grady away from the mini-rink by bribing him with the promise of sand races. We found seats high in the bleachers and watched heat after heat of stock and modified trucks race each other on the sand track. We covered our ears during the deafening roar and got Grady to predict the winner in each match. We enjoyed it more because of his unabashed delight at the spectacle. Beer was downed; ice cream was consumed; sunscreen was reapplied; even a nap was squeezed in.

Even with all the running around, for the better part of the day we were simply ?there.? We soaked up the sights, the smells, the warmth, the conversation and the knowledge that we were making memories. We ate at a Chinese restaurant before heading to the farm for a short visit. By then everyone was spent, and our people headed home.

Roy and I got our second wind and went to my sister’s for a bonfire and conversation. The fireworks display at 11 capped off a wonderful day. It doesn’t get much better than celebrating our precious Canada with people we love, from where I sit.

Hazel Anaka’s first novel is Lucky Dog. Visit her website for more information or follow her on Twitter @anakawrites.