One hundred and fifty years ago, Canada became a country in the modern sense of the world, but the land has been here for much, much longer. The spirit of the North seeps through the stones and the forests, unchanged and unyielding. It seems strange to celebrate such a small sliver of time, especially when this landscape has been here for eons.
Take, for example, the Acasta gneiss. It’s an outcropping of rock in the Northwest Territories, and it was metamorphosed 3.58 to 4.031 billion years ago. That makes it the oldest known outcropping of rock in the world.*
So, while we may seem young, our bones are ancient. Long before it was given a name, Canada was here.
*I once held a piece of it, and really, it didn’t feel too different from any other rock. Cold, smooth, it had been stealthily hacked off the face of the gneiss by the slightly-nefarious-but-geologically-obsessed man I was talking to.