The first recorded use of the phrase to represent Canada was by George Monro Grant, who was Sandford Fleming’s secretary and a Presbyterian minister who used the phrase in his sermons. His great-grandson Michael Ignatieff suggests that Grant used the phrase in a nation-building effort during the construction of the Canadian Pacific Railway. The use of the word “dominion” in the verse reflected the common use of the name “Dominion of Canada” for the new country.
Were it not for the approaching prospect of leisure travel from the lapping waters of the Mississippi River to the roaring tides of the Atlantic Ocean we might be caught in a lifeless circumstance. Since March 2020 we have been marooned here, unable and unwilling to penetrate the invisible but threatening veneer of COVID-19. Clouded by the combination of social distancing, mask wearing and provincial and international border restrictions, we have been effectively mute and immobile for a year and a half. Granted the mockery is that we’re doing little more than shifting our repetitive lifestyle from here to there. Nonetheless I am full of unrestrained and public anticipation.
Our travel plans have been corrupted more than once on this occasion as we swirled along the Atlantic coast and the Gulf of Mexico in search of appropriate digs for the season. We began too late. Attempting to mount a smooth and immediate transition from one country to another for roughly equal duration is not something one can normally leave to the last moment. Yet by chance, with the assistance of our erstwhile property manager and the application of the required lubrication we have succeeded to accomplish our objective. Though I am forever conscious that “there ain’t no ship to take you away from yourself” I am willingly captivated by the upcoming adventure. I am certain there must be a gambling instinct at play – part of that age old rubbish about beating the devil at his own game.
As though to launch our wanderlust we are by coincidence today about to rally with friends whom we initially met years ago on Hilton Head Island at their new country estate. Yet again one of life’s odd and unpredictable circle of events! It reflects our own recovery of domestic travel. And naturally reacquaintance with Louie – the Laird of the Manor!