Arrived safely in Ottawa last night and spent a lovely evening getting caught up with dear friend Susan. The drive from Sault Ste. Marie was very peaceful. Not many folks on the road.
There was a lovely ground mist in the valleys and the still leafless trees were coated with white frost. Very picturesque. The marching line of power lines that stretched out from the highway into the morning mist was a reminder of how reliant we are on access to power and connectivity across Canada. Lots of Micro Wave towers and wind turbines too.
Ontario is littered with lakes and rivers with small towns clinging to the highway and the waterways like multi-coloured beads along carelessly dropped lengths of silver and string. Farms are smaller here and as in the prairies there are more roadside Mom and Pop businesses boarded up, little houses abandoned. We are losing our connection with the land that shaped us as more and more folks give up the country life and move to the cities. Impossible to compete with corporate farms. I am often amazed at how folks survive in some of these tiny remote communities. They can’t all be trappers!
Stopped to take a picture of a beautiful bridge in Ironbridge Ontario and just as I got out of the car with my camera a Mennonite farmer in horse and buggy pulled up to the intersection. Talk about timing.
Had an epiphany about Canadians as I rolled across the rocky hills of the Canadian Shield. The early settlers who came after First Nations were, for the most part, not of a class entitled to own land or participate in the politics of their home country. I think of them as historically disenfranchised from the land they worked to the advantage of landowners and monarchs. Moving to Canada, for many, represented an opportunity to own their own land. It would be hard work but would afford them an autonomy never known in their family history. I think this is worth researching as an underlying cause for a tendency to isolationism in Canadians and a reluctance to engage in politics to the extent that our neighbours to the south do. With the distances too, folks would be inclined to self-sufficiency, happy to help out when needed but otherwise content to quietly get on with their own life and affairs. It will be interesting to do some exploring of this idea.