Monday, July 11, 2011

Neighbourhoods and daily living

I'm back on my home turf, in the house of my youth, in this fabulous neighborhood called Wolseley. Now, my other friends poke a bit of fun at Wolseley, deservedly, for it's hippy/lesbo/green-y/lefty earnestness. But being back in this neck of the woods feels like heaven right now. It couldn't be farther from my Redneckville neighborhood if it tried.

For starters, you're more likely to see People driving a Prius, Volvo or Subaru than you are to see the Tonka trucks that proliferate back home in Northend Edmonton. And you're more likely to be hit by an errant cyclist than a car here in Wolseley. The streets are lined in 100 year old elm trees than make enormous canopies over the roads and the 100 year old houses, whose front doors are more likely to be blue or red or yellow or pink (naturally, my personal fave!) than beige or white or brown. The streets are filled with the bustle of people walking dogs and strollers full of littles and bags full of organic groceries. (Did I mention there was a street corner with two competing organic stores?). The gardens are beautiful. Really, really beautiful. Haphazard and wild and unmanicured kinda beautiful. (My kinda beautiful). Even the boulevards are full of shocks of wildflowers, bluebells, irises, daisies, towering masses of lilies and hollyhocks.

And running through these streets every morning feels like such a treat. Because everything feels alive, lived in, artful, historied. And makes my home neighborhood seem drab, dull, lacking noise and vibrance and, well, life. It's not that folks don't garden in my neighborhood back home. But Wolseley gardening makes those wee flower beds seem perfunctory and devoid of imagination. And it's not my neighbourhood's fault it isn't full of turn of the century homes. (Though certainly their doors and gardens could use some serious inspiration). It is what it is, which is the only neighborhood we could find a house we didn't hate that we could also (almost) afford in Edmonton.

But this sojourn into Wolseley has reminded me about the importance of inserting beauty in one's everyday surroundings. And how much your everyday surroundings can impact, even sustain you, whether it's immediately noticeable or not. And how very much I miss that kind of daily dose of loveliness.

My favorite pink door.

A red door across the street.

Garden bliss.

Elm canopy.

1 comment:

  1. Oh my gosh! I stumbled on Wolseley while driving back from Ottawa to Vancouver two years ago. Charming! I had to get out and start snapping photos. I must say, your pics are so much better than mine.

    I hope you find a way to import a little Wolseley in your current home.