The young woman at the desk of the Holiday Inn Express in Jamestown, North Dakota, asked, as she filled out the register, "…and what Providence are you from?"
I said, "Well, we call them Provinces, but if you wish, I can be from the Providence of Alberta." She smiled, mildly embarrassed, slightly apologetic.
And why would I want more? I quite like the promise of being from a Providence. Provinces are, well, so provincial. Providence on the other hand has the basic appeal of provision. It also has the connotation of future prospects, and the fundamental attraction of security and sanctuary. The founders of the capital of Rhode Island recalled this and called their haven for religious dissenters, Providence. And don’t we all see ourselves as religious dissenters of some form?
A Canada Day thought: Let us encourage more providence in our provinces. Providentially caring and creating a haven for those with small voices, those who are too often wind-rowed under by expedience and trade, those who are actively dissenting from the race for history.
In the end, I suppose (appropriate Canadian equivocation), I’d rather be from any Providence in Canada, than from any Statuary of the USA.
So what ever Providence you’re from, Happy Canada Day, or as we used to say before our collective (morning) constitutional, Happy Dominion Day!