Who am I going to live vicariously through now? What's going to tug at my heartstrings on a daily basis and make me weep, real tears, of both joy and sorrow? Who will I holler and cheer for on my TV screen, now that the Canadian athletes have all gone back home?
Canadian pride? Never knew I had so much in me, eh? I always guffawed at the "heart-holding" patriotism of my American neighbours-but now that my heart has been in MY THROAT for the last 2 weeks, I understand the sentiment. I have never ever watched the Olympics with much enthusiasm, somehow always remained "detached" from all the hoopla. But when I saw the Northern Lights and then the Orcas and the Prairies homage on my screen-I felt like a proud parent, showing my baby off to the world.
Maybe it's because I have lived in the True North, and in Prairie-like small towns and big cities in Alberta as well as the West Coast, those images are part of MY fabric now, I felt overcome. I have seen the splendour of the Northern Lights, I have felt the beauty northern isolation. I have revelled in the warmth of a Chinook and have experienced both the sheer vastness of the canola fields and have felt the embrace of the Rocky Mountains. I wonder at the beauty and everlasting foliage of my new beloved West Coast.
And I never forget that I was born in a truly "distinctive" province. I am proud to be part french-candian.
So you see, I was doomed before it even started. Who knew that the "human" spirit would be so challenged, so compelling? I have never ever felt the struggle, perseverance, panic, joy and the pain of a stranger as I have in these past 2 weeks. I was privvy to glimpses of sorrow the likes of which I have not yet experienced, thankfully. I was along for the hurrays! and the celebratory hugs, the trepidation and then the relief, the excruciating wait for times and judges votes. It was a great ride.
I don't know Tessa, or Joannie, I will never be able to tell Sidney Crosby how happy I was that he scored the winning goal, but I will carry a little bit of that "torch", that feeling of renewed pride for all things Canadian for my lifetime.
....And it doesn't get any better than that!