Sunday, July 1, 2018 – Canada Day

From generation to generation, lights are extinguished and darkness threatens until some one stoops to bear the torch.

Laurence Overmire, Honor and Remembrance

My great grandparents, Heinrich Letkeman and Katarina Janzen Letkeman

It’s Canada Day.

Gerry hoists our beautiful flag and we acknowledge, with gratitude, the gift of being Canadian and living in this beautiful land.

I think about my low-German speaking Mennonite Brethren great grandparents, Heinrich and Katarina Letkeman, who came to Canada from Russia 142 years ago in 1876–part of the great migration from Russia, in which ten thousand left for the United States and eight thousand for Manitoba, Canada.

Here, they settled in villages on land set aside for them by the Canadian government and, with farming know-how (they had a reputation as the best farmers in Europe), hard work, and tenacity, they built a new life.

And so, on this day when multi-cultural food festivals are held in parks, when people wear red and wave flags, when children have red maple leaves painted on their cheeks, when fireworks pop, and we collectively stand proud citizens of this, our home and native land—I acknowledge this gift of being Canadian that Heinrich and Katarina gave me.

Happy Canada Day!



I’m a writer, reader, and creative. I thought by now I’d have things figured out, but I keep coming up with more questions. I think that’s okay. I’m here most mornings pondering ordinary things and the thin places where faith intersects.

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