It’s now well into the evening and the last of the Canada Day fireworks will be drifting away down at Victoria’s Inner Harbour. The weather here was absolutely perfect for a celebration – sunny and warm but not too hot. As is our wont, Marcia and I brought our ‘Free Hugs‘ posters downtown with us and invested some four hours this afternoon giving out Free Hugs to anyone who was willing to share one! It’s always a delightful experience for us. We hugged someone who was two weeks old, and someone who was celebrating his birthday today – possibly into his nineties. We shared hugs with a couple from Brazil on their first day in Canada, and we hugged a gentleman who knew about two words of English – ‘Thank-you’ and ‘Iran’. There were people from Australia and Ireland and the US, from Alberta and New Brunswick, and yes, people from Victoria! We even had two young women ask us for the loan of a marker and two sheets of paper torn from a notebook – they made their own ‘Free Hugs’ signs before heading on their way.
Sandra on Google+ wrote the following yesterday in one of her posts:
“The most important thing I’ve learned is that people are really not all that different. When you talk to people…. really talk to them….. you begin to realize that we all have worries, fears, illness, joy, laughter, insecurities, sadness, goals, loneliness, things that hold us back, things that push us forward. We are all conflicted and spend time wondering what the hell we are doing. We all want to belong and feel loved.”
As Canadians we tend not to be overly exhuberant about being Canadian, but it’s there. It’s a deep undercurrent of connection and of pride. Our thanks to the hundreds of people who helped make our Canada Day a very special one by sharing their best gift with us – themselves!!
Hug someone you love today. Or a stranger. Or both!!
P.S. The first Saturday in July (July 7 this year) is International Free Hugs Day!! All it takes is a piece of cardboard, a marker and a smile. This picture is from our friend Peggi and her family!!