Fill my soul with colour

I posted an article with pictures of Playfair Park. It is a one acre park close by my home.One acre is not very large but part of the charm of pocket parks is their smallness, their intimacy, their sense of enclosing everyone in the park and, because they are small, the sense of neighbourliness. These are not parks intended to attract vast crowds. Few people drive to such a park. Nearly everyone walks. There is the sense of this being our park.

I am so enamored of this park and, remember how small it is, that I want to share some more pictures.

In the last couple of days, I was overawed by the mountains of BC, of the rivers the colour of pale jade, of vast forests but here, in the park, I am enclosed not by majesty but intimacy.

The rolling foothills of Alberta, the big sky, the mesas and arryos make a world so large it seems impossible to encompass it. And Saskatchewan with its horizons at the edge of the world, its vast fields and, up close, its copses of trees and pools of dark water. Everything is big, makes me feel like I should be able to fly, to soar over it. But Playfair Park nestles me, fills up my soul with colour.

These are the early colours but soon they will fade and be replaced by the poppies, white, red, purple, yellow. The flowers of summer will bloom many shades of yellow. The lillies will compete for everyone’s attention.

I have seen some of it, I’ll miss some of it, but there’ll still be flowers in Playfair Park when I return and I will walk there again and fill up my soul with colour to last me the coming winter.

Playfair Park

 Flower pix by WDV

Playfair Park is about one acre. A pocket park. Gorgeous summer and winter. A five minute walk from my house. If there had been time, I’d have asked everyone coming to Atli and Þruður´s reception to meet at the park for a walk around the gardens. We could have done an easy stroll about the park. If we had done that, it would have been with a purpose. I´d have used the opportunity to tell everyone about Christian Sivertz and his family and Victoria.

Wherever you live, demand pocket parks. Big parks are nice but pocket parks are secrets hidden in neighborhoods where people picnic, throw balls for their dogs, lie on the grass, admire the flowers, play with their children.
Once, I was surprised to see a wedding, ceremony and all in Playfair Park. I thought it a fine place for a wedding. I watched the wedding ceremony, the guests in chairs set in a crescent, children running about, the flowered gardens as a backdrop, the bride and groom a bit giddy with happiness.
There’s a small playground for children with a slide and a teeter totter, a bench for parents. There are benches here and there and, if you follow the paths that weave through the rhododendron forest, you’ll find rocky outcrops on which to sit.
In May, the gardens will be at their best. I’ll miss them this year. I regret that. Today, I had to make a circle around the park, filling up my eyes and soul with the colours. Whose heart wouldn’t pause slightly when they see the purple rhodo arching over one of the paths? 
That´s when I thought of Icelanders like Christian Sivertz (in spite of the adopted name, he was an Icelander) who worked as a farmhand and tutor in Iceland, came to Winnipeg in 1883, to Victoria in the 1890. He’d had time to adjust to the New World in Manitoba, working at the Winnipeg Gas and Electric Plant, with summers as a fireman and 2nd engineer in small steamers on Lake Winnipeg.
He’d read about the Rocky Mountains and the Pacific Coast. People had started coming here by train in 1886. That’s only eleven years after the first settlers landed at Willow Island in Manitoba.
Christian´s parents, three brothers and a sister soon joined him in Victoria.

Photo credit: J. O. Magnusson

Playfair Park was still wilderness then but Victoria was already the flower capital of Canada. If I still am amazed by places like Playfair Park, by rhodos ablaze with bloom, what must he and his parents and siblings have thought?