Monday, August 28, 2006

The Garden

In downtown Toronto, on the corner of King and Church Streets, there is a majestic old church, called the St. James Cathedral. It's bells ring every hour, and on Sunday mornings, if I open my balcony doors at just the right time, I hear their angelic song, drifting on currents of air to my ears, 6 blocks away. It's beautiful, serene and always inspiring.

Next to the church is a park, fittingly called St. James Park. Until this year, the park was filled mostly with homeless and indigent people gathering in groups, drinking or taking naps on the benches. A few of them end up cocooned in the doors of the great church next door, sleeping peacefully and safely in her arms.

This year, at the beginning of spring, bulldozers, trucks and men entered the grimy park. Stone statues of angels appeared, their eyes looking heavenward. Row upon row of cheerful flowers were planted. A fountain took centre stage. These changes appeared as if by magic, fancifully created while I slept. By June, the garden had blossomed into a cacaphony of colour. Amateur photographers and wedding parties moved in, delighting in the gracefulness of nature. Young lovers replaced homeless old men on stone benches, holding hands and whispering to each other.

And though no one told the homeless to leave, they left anyways. Propelled out of the park by the beauty of its flowers, as though undeserving of such a gift.

4 comments:

Cynnie said...

Aww..thats sad..
A park by a church seems the perfect place for lost souls

Furtheron said...

Interesting - what made them move on?

Did they as you say feel that they didn't deserve the new pleasures around them?

Was it that the new colour etc. actually hurt them? Reminded them of what they might have lost - or never gained and so they moved on to somewhere that doesn't remind them of that.

Or was it that the new colour invited in these new people and it was them that they want to avoid? Again is it because of what it stirs in them that they have lost or is it that they prefer to be in the grey and dark and miserable and wish for that? Wanting to be left alone and not to be disturbed by the wedding parties, the laughing children and the young lovers.

Wish I had the gift of writing - I see a whole book or play all about the different views on this.

David said...

Sounds like a magical place...like the kind of place brought on by some good pot or other illegal substance abuse...LOL...have you taken any pictures of the new park?

Hattigrace said...

Very, very interesting. Sad, but interesting. Nice for you to have such a lovely haven though.