Looking at a night satellite image of Canada, it is easy to pick out the “Golden Horseshoe”: a ring of lights stretching from Montreal, down the St. Lawrence Seaway to Toronto and Niagara Falls. A lot of people living in the horseshoe could go their entire lives thinking this is what Canada is: Toronto with a series of cities surrounding it.
I’m not from the prairies, I’m actually from a small town outside Toronto myself. After graduation, life took me to Regina, Saskatchewan, which is smack dab in the middle of the prairies.
Having had the chance to live there I become easily irritated when people say that driving through the prairies is boring. It’s evident from their comments that they feel their existence is an incredible delay on the trip to reach the Rockies. Inwardly I think to myself that if you are narrow-minded it might be hard to appreciate such a vast wide open space. Outwardly I usually answer this with a five minute rant on life in the prairies.
Mountains are imposing – they beg you to love them, to admire them. Sort of like a huge bronzed obnoxious statue. But the prairies are an understated openness – you forget that their vastness is larger than a mountain’s peak. Searching the distance, they make you work for their love, but when you find it, mesmerizing.
There’s a simplistic calling from the flat land. Straight lines say it like it is. Things are more straight-forward then they seem; Home is always technically in sight. In a nutshell: Open. Breath-taking.
Being Canadian is understanding first hand, that many, many parts that make us whole.
Get out there. See your country. Love every inch of it. Even the flat part.