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Ricordare – Remember

November 10, 2009

 Today, a dear friend arrived from Italy, (she’s Italian) and for a moment I am warmed by the Italian sun. She is sunshine. My one and only trip to Italy was in 1989…and I long to return. Although Italy is not in the cards for this year, I do ease that longing just a bit with a visit to little Italy, here in Vancouver.
There’s an Italian Family restaurant, an Italian barber and an Italian Deli all within a short walking distance of my home. Vancouver has a vibrant Italian community stretching along Commercial Drive and East along Hastings into North Burnaby. There are bocce tournaments in the summer and a large Italian Cultural centre on Grandview and Slocan. Best of all, a brisk walk brings me to a little piece of Italian Paradise.

Il giardino Italiano

Il Giardino Italiano.The formal gardens

It might not be 48 degrees and sunny but it doesn’t require a passport either; this hidden gem is a perfect change of pace. Barber of SevilleThe park is full of formal lines, lush gardens, gurgling fountains, homages to Opera and the old Roman Gods abound.Formal Lines

WindI wonder how hard it must be to leave the known world for the unknown? Could I leave my country?  If I did,  what would I take with me?  What would a ‘Canadian Garden’ look like in Singapore?  What would a ‘Canadian Restaurant’ serve in Denmark? What would a wave of Canadian immigrants do to change the cultural landscape of Tuscany?  Seems a bit ridiculous to think that our toddler country could have any cultural impact. And yet….maybe we make a different impact.

Cypress lined pathI’m drawn to another statue. This one has a more sombre air. It depicts Italian immigrants arriving in Canada. I think about Canadians helping bring Peace to Italy in what seems like a simpler time and a simpler war. Italian Immigrants to Canada

We are not perfect but we are peaceful.  We are for the most part peacekeepers. And maybe it is this Peace that we can try to share with the world.  Maybe Peace is our  impact.

Remembrance Day ParadeMy dad was in the Nato Peacekeeping forces in Europe, now he volunteers with the Royal Canadian Legion.  This will be the first year in a long time that he won’t participate in the parade on Remembrance Day.  He’s been longing to go back to Europe since his time in service and this is the year.  In fact he has my camera in Italy right now.  He will finally get to see the Trevi fountain and the canals of Venice.

A gift from the City of GenoaThe last statue I visit in this garden is of a great traveller, Christopher Columbus.  It is a gift from the city of Genoa. A gift to keep our cities close and bind our friendship, lest we forget.

I hope you will spare a peaceful moment on November 11th at 11 AM.  Just one moment of peaceful silence. Lest we forget our impact in the world.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Saumil permalink
    November 10, 2009 2:06 pm

    This is such a wonderful article. I would love to drop by every Tuesday.

    May you get time every week to write such salty articles 🙂

  2. Veenu permalink
    November 10, 2009 10:23 pm

    Loved the article—I also often think about the ‘trailblazers’ of our native land. The hardships shared by everyone from early pioneers clearing land and travelling rough terrain in the prairies, to the early Sikh immigrants (and the later ones who could only bring $7 into Canada in the 1960’s and 70’s)—how they persevered through their hardships with the vision of what Canada COULD become!

    I’ll be visiting every week 🙂

    • November 10, 2009 11:50 pm

      Thank you – I would love to hear more about the early sikh immigrants. I’m so glad you like the article!

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