Canada turned 146 on July 1, 2013.
Today I watched a video dedicated to the Prairie Sentinels, iconic grain elevators that lined railways and guarded prairie towns for the past three generations.
The song is filled with nostalgia, and it tugs at my heart-strings.
As I watched the pictures, random thoughts came to mind.
These people were immigrants. Many didn't speak the language. There were no ESL classes for newcomers.
They suffered injury and illness. No universal health care for them. If there was a doctor in wagon distance, the nearest hospital could still be over a day away.
They survived winter based on how well they managed summer and the growing season. Natural consequences had meaning for adults, as well as kids.
Often I get e-mails comparing the old days of my youth with the way things are today. It strikes me that perhaps the definition of 'good old days' is 'that which is familiar'. Grain elevators marked the prairies for three short generations. From my perspective, they've existed forever, a lifetime! For children born 146 years ago, and for children who will be born today, Prairie Sentinels have no meaning. Is that wrong?
I have to wonder. Do we serve ourselves by dwelling on things of the past as though there was something magical, precious, life-giving, life-honoring about them? Or would we serve ourselves better by looking at today and choosing to dwell on those things that are right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent and praiseworthy? Philippians 4:8
Today. Not yesterday. Yesterday really is gone. Remember? Yes. Compare? No.
Today. One day, this day is all we have - as a nation, as a person. May we not disparage today, but rather search for and extol the good things our God-given intelligence and curiosity have allowed us to create.
The question I ask is not, "What have we lost?" but rather, "How can we honour what we now have?"
While Bobbi has been writing for several decades, sharing her words in a public forum is relatively new. In 2011 her mother's progression into dementia could no longer be ignored. One day she demanded, "Someone needs to write about this!" Bobbi began to share snippets of her mother's story in a blog, and is now documenting her mother's journey in a manuscript: The Reluctant Caregiver. www.bobbijunior.com