Near the end of my lunchtime walk around Parliament Hill last week, I felt called to take a closer look at a monument I had passed many times but never really looked at.
The gold sphere balancing as if by magic on the edge of a white stone wall grabs the attention.
I had to see what that balancing act was all about. I crossed a small bridge to a piece of land that juts out into the Ottawa River. The first thing I noticed was a shallow wall into which the names of Canadian naval vessels had been carved. My brother served in the Royal Canadian Navy on the HMCS Terra Nova, so I took a picture of the engraved name.
From my new angle on Richmond Landing, with Parliament Hill in the background, I got a different perspective. From there I could see the naval overtones of the prow of a ship, ocean waves, and the gold orb as the sun.
Up close I could read the Navy motto: Ready, Aye, Ready.
I stood there and wondered how it was that I never knew about The Royal Canadian Navy Monument, something that has a personal connection for me. I wondered, “Why did it come to my attention today?”
I thought about the date and realized it was the anniversary of a surprise visit I made to Halifax, NS to welcome my brother and his ship home for the first Persian Gulf War. He had no family in the area, so he didn’t expect anyone to be there when the ship pulled in. Surprise!
My brother’s ashes were committed to the deep six years ago, but I felt he had paid me a surprise visit in return.