Notes on a Buddhist path

A New Citizen

June 1, 2014 By | 13 Comments

The untold want by life and land ne’er granted,
Now voyager sail thou forth to seek and find.” ~ Walt Whitman

Seven days ago I became a Canadian citizen.

A New CitizenMany people have called me brave for crossing a border and choosing to live in a land to which I was not born. It never felt that brave to me. I didn’t come from a war torn country. I didn’t have to learn a new language. I wasn’t cleaved from the arms of my loved ones to make a living and survive. I didn’t face the threat of torture or prison or death for my beliefs or who I chose to love or how I made my way in the world.

All I did was move north, nearly a thousand miles along the coastline I’ve known all my life and found a place where I’ve tended the seeds of new friendships and witnessed the blossoms of a kind and loving family. I know many people who have not had an easy time immigrating to Canada. Some have faced bureaucracy and untold details, papers lost then found, documents demanded then challenged. I have no idea why a 52 year old divorced woman with no family, no job, no ties to this new land would be accepted over others, yet I was. Perhaps it was some good kamma from my past lives, or maybe it was destiny swinging open the door of my rightful home.

Now, six years later, not a day has passed when I regret my decision to leave my native land and set down roots in a new world. Many an immigrant has laid awake on a sea of dark nights dissecting and surveying the reasons for choosing that beckoning new world. For me the decision was simple: from the moment I stepped onto the land of this place I knew I was home. There had always been an itch, an uneasiness for me living in the United States. It was as if I had been dropped onto the wrong life raft, following a current that would take me farther and farther from my rightful course. Finding my feet on Canadian soil, I felt the compass of my life shift and true north was found at last. Each day I touch my lips to gratitude for the chance to live here, to work here, to awaken to a path of peace that guides each of my breaths in every moment. The friends I meet on a sidewalk, the smiles exchanged, the caress of our conversations that weaves its way into my heart. Each instant in its arising and passing away is a gift, a blessing that would not be if I had stayed on that other raft.

Reciting my oath of citizenship last week, I felt the sweet nectar of belonging cresting the brink of my heart and I heard the pulse of my life beating to a new rhythm. My tears coated every word of our national anthem. There were 70 of us there, 70 new citizens from 26 countries. We all had come from somewhere else, come from afar to make a new home, a new path in this brave new country.

For these past years whenever anyone asked where I was from I would say California. Now when someone asks where I am from, I will say Canada.

O Canada!
Our home and native land!
True patriot love in all thy sons command.
With glowing hearts we see thee rise,
The True North strong and free!
From far and wide,
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.
God keep our land glorious and free!
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.

Image Credit:

Β© Tess Wixted. All rights reserved.


  1. Yeah Tess! Canada is lucky and blessed to have you join us as a writer, creator and wise-woman. Congratulations and many blessings for your future here. xo Mags

  2. Cathy Snyder says

    This is beautiful Tess. Thanks for shring your experience both on Facebook and through this blog. It’s always feel good to be HOME.

  3. I’m delighted to Congratulate and to Welcome you as a Fellow Canadian, Tess!

  4. Good kamma. It was definitely the good kamma.

    • David, since you are a triple gem in the rough, I will take your word for it. May the good kamma times roll!

      • it was good kamma, AND all your hard work! No one without a solid work history gets in πŸ™‚
        You are immensely valuable on every level; since you have truly arrived you can now let go πŸ™‚

  5. Fran Pardee says

    Welcome home Tess. So glad you are here.


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