A grassroots tribute to health workers sprouts in Oak Bay
OAK BAY, B.C. -- When Isabelle isn’t preparing to mow her lawn, she’s working at the hospital.
“I’m a medical physicist. But don’t ask me what a medical physicist does!” Isabelle laughs. “I always have a hard time explaining that one!”
To really, really oversimplify it, Isabelle helps people battle cancer.
“I do a lot of brain activity [work],” Isabelle explains. “So to just be outside is relaxing.”
Mowing the lawn, Isabelle says, is meditative.
“You smell the grass clippings,” she smiles. “It makes me happy.”
This year, her lawn started growing at the same time COVID-19 began expanding and a neighbour suggested that Isabelle use her mowing to make others happy too.
“I know some people on the street who work at the hospital,” Isabelle says. “Instead of going outside and banging some pots, I thought this is permanent.”
‘This’ begins with cutting the grass in curves instead of straight lines.
“I’m a scientist,” Isabelle laughs. “I don’t have any creative genes in me!”
Yet Isabelle wields her weed-wacker with the confidence of a sculptor’s chisel, before refining the grass with a rake, like a painter with a brush.
“This is probably my best attempt at art,” she smiles.
Isabelle's mowing masterpiece is a heartfelt message.
After four months of work, the shape of a heart is growing a few inches higher than the grass that surrounds it.
It’s well-manicured, fills almost half the front lawn, and unlike her complicated job, needs no explanation.
“I’ve always been somebody who likes to take care of people,” Isabelle says. “I feel that until [the pandemic] goes away, this is a very simple gesture.”
So instead of mowing it down, Isabelle is planning to keep her lawn heart — and her neighbours spirits — growing up.