Remember this Olympic cauldron? The cauldron where one of the pillars refused to go up at the climactic moment of the 2010 Winter Olympics Opening Ceremonies? The cauldron that was under fire (no pun intended) for being blocked off to tourists by an ugly chain link fence the length of the Games?
Times have indeed changed. Now visitors can get as close as they want, go snap happy with their cameras, and do everything except climb on it. And on occasions like yesterday, the flame is even lit, just like at the Olympics! (and yet a little ironic considering the heat wave Vancouver is experiencing). The city does not need more heat.
The lit torch was especially exciting as I missed seeing the Olympics in person due to studying on the other side of the country at the time. This is something I will probably regret, but at least seeing it lit on Canada Day gave me a small peek at what it was like—that and the crowds (although compared to the Olympic crowds, I hear this was nothing).
For those of you not from Canada, it was our birthday yesterday. We’re 146 years old. We watched a parade of floats celebrating our multiculturalism, ate poutine and beaver tails, and headed to the water for dazzling fireworks to light up the night sky.
I’ve celebrated Canada Day in a few different cities across the country, but never in Vancouver. This was a first. The lighting was spectacular—and I’m not just talking about the fireworks. The sunlight on the streets turned the city into a stage, soaking up all the love and affection projected on a country true, north, strong, and free. Days like this I catch my breath and repeat to myself: “I live in this beautiful city. In this beautiful country. This is home.”