My friend Esther and I were sketching in the English gardens in Assiniboine Park last week. It was a gorgeous day and the gardens were alive with stunning flowers but what made me so happy were all the people in the park. So many folks were out enjoying the lovely Manitoba morning.
We chatted with an elderly couple walking their dog. They stopped to point out the hawk in the tree above our heads. “We come here everyday,” they said, “and that hawk is always perched right there. It’s his favorite tree.” A Dad was reading the names of all the flowers on the little signs to his three young children. Several people in wheelchairs were being pushed through the walkways and people with walkers and canes made their way slowly amongst the statues and plants. I was so fascinated with all the folks walking by I didn’t get much sketching done. There was the teenager covered in tattoos in earnest conversation with her white-haired grandmother, a large extended family all dressed in pale green shirts in the park to have their photos taken by a professional photographer, a quartet of female friends out for a power walk and people who were clearly visitors to Winnipeg from other countries.I know people often complain about paying taxes but Monday morning in the park I said to myself, “I’m so glad I can contribute my tax dollars for the maintenance of this beautiful sanctuary that so many of my fellow citizens get to enjoy.”