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Localife Toronto comes alive

By Dani Taylor

Spring is coming, but not fast enough! Localife Toronto recently took the opportunity to take shelter from the stormy weather at the beautiful Allan Gardens. An oasis in Toronto’s downtown, the gardens are a balmy greenhouse of plants from all over the world.

When planning this event, I was stricken by what an emotional time of year spring is for me. Spring is a celebration, an ending from the additional challenges a long Canadian winter brings. I feel more energized, eager to get back into the world and escape the coziness of my apartment. I think about spring as a time of renewal, a time to consider new growth and things coming alive again, a time to reflect on what it takes to encourage sprouting life.

Localife participants were supplied with a notepad and pencils. I wanted to give everyone the opportunity to be inspired by the location. A lot of YACCers started sketching while some played with written reflections and poetry. I was reminded of my own cancer story and how I came to be standing with these other folks, people who would otherwise be strangers to me. I’m no longer lost in the shadow of my diagnosis, searching for others like me. I now have the opportunity to connect others, to tend the buds of new connections.

After a peaceful afternoon at the gardens, we were able to share a meal together at Boston Pizza around the corner. The location had generously offered our party a private room and helped with some of the costs. A few weeks ago, I had explained to a member of their staff why we were coming and who we were, and she said, “that sounds like a really lovely event.” And it really was.

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