Where I live is pretty blessed. It’s full of upper-class, old world citizens that live on these huge, extravagant estates with Million-Dollar homes, heritage designations and acres of lawns and gardens.
The other side of town is newer, but no less nice. Cookie-cutter houses with uniform patches of green out front, scattered with children’s toys and the detritus of life.
Everywhere you look there is a park near by, a green space for the locals to enjoy. We’re home to Mile 0, where Terry Fox started his journey across Canada.
The city has planted hundreds of flowering Cherry and Apple trees along avenues, parks and in the downtown core. Many of these trees have been strung with Christmas lights that twinkle and glow year-round, but look especially magical in the winter and right now, when they are in full bloom.
The petals create drifts of pink and white snow on the sidewalks, you can literally shovel the fallout from a day of wind.
It’s surreal to walk through a street, lined on both sides with light-wrapped trees displaying their showy flowers in the twilight. Like a romantic scene in a movie, where she is standing amongst the flowering grove and he comes walking up behind her to declare his true love for her… Or like Alice discovering Wonderland is strange, but somehow, just like home.
A sense of calm, a sense of peace. A sense that I won’t be able to enjoy this for a long time to come.
The city plants gardens everywhere it can – park borders, planted meridians in the roads, planters on the sidewalks, flowering trees, flower displays in parks, rose gardens, natural meadows, and anything else it can think of. Plus Buchart Gardens is a rose in our cap.
We are a tourist town, no doubt about it, but the citizens have long been concerned with the appearance of our city. Shop owners keep their sidewalks clean, stains on the sidewalk are washed away on a regular basis, the graffiti removal companies are always busy, and we have a relatively small visibly homeless population which stay out of the downtown core and are located a few blocks away.
I’ll miss it. I don’t see my new city being nearly as beautiful, sprawling for miles and miles, with nothing to contain it. I didn’t see many places for flowers or a lot of trees, but maybe once they reach spring, this will change. It’s still wintery there, so I’ll be sure to pack my woolens and warmest coats.