In late March I had the pleasure of exploring the neighbourhood with the first public walk of the wayfinding // wandering project. Matthew was out of town and while I felt nervous to plan, lead, and promote on my own, the start of Spring was an opportunity I did not want to miss. I was joined by Carol and Laura, a mother daughter pair with deep ties to the Sunset community.
|Lady bug searching on a dried seed pod flower.|
We set out from the Sunset Community Centre Lobby a little after 11am, and I was surprised at how quickly they took to touching, smelling, looking closely at, and pointing to the many signs of spring around us. Just outside the Centre we came across a fuzzy variety of mint which seemed to prime the pump for diving deeply into exploration.
Though we refrained from talking on the duration of the walk, we were anything but quiet. Birds, flowers, and surprising exterior decor had us gasping and laughing. At the corner of 55th & Sophia the bird song mixed with the heady scent of daphne, while a few blocks later we squealed with glee to discover that what looked like a pile of fluff caught in a tree was actually a nest!
|That pile of fuzz is a bird nest!|
Further south, the smell of cherry blossoms was suddenly overtaken by the smell of curry, resulting in deep sniffs and joyful sighs. On the west side of Main Street, we came across a sidewalk garden filled with herbs and ceramic figurines.
|Smiling gnome greeter|
Along the Ontario golf course path, in the shade of cedars, Spring seemed further away and I had the sense that it must take longer for the sun to do its warming work for such deep roots. Back in the lobby we shared our experiences: surprise at how difficult it was to refrain from speaking, delight in discovering how many tended gardens there were, and shock to realize that despite living in the neighbourhood for three decades some streets were still new.
|Post-walk map and reflections.|