Oh Canada, my home and native land, as I prepare to celebrate your beauty by decorating my entire family in tacky flag clothing and slapping them head to foot in maple leaf peel-and-stick tattoos, I need to take a moment to declare my patriotic passion. It is important for me to honour your awesomeness with my own sense of Canadian-ness.

Why, we even share our birth month: July. That makes us both Cancers, Canada. Our sign is the crab, our element is water. We are ruled by the moon (your beautiful tides and my emotional sappiness; doesn’t seem fair). Astrologers say we are sensitive nurturers, fiercely protective of our loved ones and incredibly emotional and sensitive. We are likely to withdraw when things are too intense. We like our space. We are brilliantly creative, (go with me on this one, ‘cause I watched the Olympics and we totally rocked the house), and also loyal and kind. We both like to keep the peace, but have an undercurrent of anarchy. We are not perfect, though. We make mistakes, but we also forgive them in others. We love to apologize. Best of all, we’re funny. We’re not afraid to laugh at ourselves. That’s us, Canada.

You like to protect the under-dogs, welcome the downtrodden. You opened your arms to the world with your multicultural policies, long before it was politically correct. Just ask the folks who crept through the Underground Railroad or the Irish Famine victims who found their way to your shores.

You get bullied a lot too. It’s not easy to live in the shadow of the biggest kid in the neighbourhood. It takes a while to find your voice in the international playground. But darn it, you are so nice that when the international poop hits the fan, you pull out the wet wipes. Some people fight for the sake of fighting, but you and me, Canada, we are too smart to be that stupid. Happily, we are sarcastic enough to point and stare at those who do though. We love to laugh.

Our emotional instability makes us creative. You are the soil that nourished talented souls. There are too many to mention, so I’ll stroke your confidence with a few of my favourites: Joni Mitchell, Leonard Cohen, Margaret Laurence, Tomson Highway, K.D. Lang, John Candy, Jim Carrey, Rick Mercer, Wayne Gretzky, Sidney (my boy) Crosby, are all your babies. This is a land where dreams are inspired to be possible. Too bad to make it here, we have to make it elsewhere. But the good ones never forget their roots.

You are ruled by a government that is a virtual fun house of delusional characters and yet, people pay the taxes imposed by these nut-bars because we all know that quality of life has a price and this is the best place to live it. Foolish? Maybe. Alternatives? None. Maybe that is why generations of Canadians cry on Remembrance Day, because we know how lucky we are to be Canadian and the sacrifice it took for us to grow up and become an independent nation. We have a young history. Others like to tease us about it. Well, Canada, I’d rather a short mostly proud history than a long liturgy of arrogance. We’ve made our mark. We owe no one. We’re self-made, baby.

Canada, you always find a way to keep your rowdy children together, because family is everything to us Cancers. You have a past to heal and a future to create. Dream big.

Our horoscope looks promising, Canada. Happy Birthday, old friend.