#TOinBloom

It’s been a long, difficult winter here in Toronto, and spring has seemed endlessly far away for too long.  We were teased with a gorgeous day, a few weeks ago, but after only a few (too few!) glorious hours of sweater weather the cold returned with a vengeance.  This year, the spring equinox – March 20th –  seemed like a holiday worth marking.  It was the date on which we could legitimately start thinking about warmer weather.

The cogs in my heart started turning when I stumbled upon these felt placemats at my local dollar store, and figured I could use them to build a reminder of the beauty and colour that lies on the horizon…

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on community

I got a call from my mom, last night, just a few minutes after she left from a nice long visit:

“C, there are pumpkins all along Harboard Street.  Hundreds of pumpkins.  You have to come see this!”

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She was right!  All along the road, tables had been set up by the Harbord Village Residents’ Association, and pumpkins upon pumpkins were on display all along Harbord, from Bathurst to Spadina.  Every year, the HVRA collects jack-o-lanterns from residents, on the day after Halloween, and rounds them all up for display as part of a pop-up exhibition of local gourd-carving talent.

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Despite the damp and slightly chilly weather, I was completely warmed by the sense of community that I felt while walking around, with my roommate T.  Neighbours were out mingling and admiring each other’s work, kids were frolicking – some in costume – and enjoying a second late-night-out in a row, and volunteers were serving hot apple cider and spreading the word about opportunities to get involved in local projects like litter collecting, flower planting, and community-building events.  It was like being in a small town in the middle of Canada’s largest city.

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There were some really neat pumpkins, too!

Some philosophical ones, like this obvious reference to Nietzsche’s will to power:

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(please know that I’m kidding)

One that reminded me of awkward high school days:

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Some clever reminders that jack-o-lanterns are meant to be terrifying:

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And some veritable squash-masterpieces:

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What a terrific way to bring people together (and to give pumpkins an extra night to shine!)

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I couldn’t have asked for a more enjoyable autumn evening.