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.