VICTORIA -- Darrell never expected to be doing this again. He assumed it would all be history by now.

“I thought it’d be an artifact,” he smiles. “In 50 years, people will see that faint outline (in the grass) and remember when we had to wear masks.”

But seeing as the pandemic is still present, Darrell is revisiting a past project.

“I always love working outside, having my hands in the soil,” he says, after pushing his wheelbarrow through his front gate, and cutting a shape into the grass.

Darrell usually grows food in his backyard, but today he’s on the boulevard to plant appreciation.

“They say we’re all in this together,” he says, explaining his public project. “It’s absolutely true.”

Darrell decided to create something for all the people who pass during the pandemic, including the senior who’s wheeled round the block from her care home, the nurse who runs before her shift at the hospital, and the cashier who walks to work at the grocery store.

“You see how well taken care of we are in Canada,” he smiles, before planting a series of red flowers in the beds he cut out of the grass.

Last year, according to the hand-drawn journal he shows me, Darrell was planting similar flowers with his grandkids, and then turned carwashing into grandpa soaking.

“Trying to make everybody feel better about COVID,” he smiles. “Do something positive.”

This year, the grandkids weren’t available to help. But Darrell planted dozens of red flowers in the shape of a large heart anyway, because of what its blooms could do.

The heart-shaped garden inspired motivation for the nurse running, recognition for the cashier walking, and comfort for the senior, once crying for the family she was missing, suddenly smiling for the joy she was finding.

“Doing things for each other is everything,” Darrell smiles, before watering the flowers. “The world runs on love.”

And 50 years from now, when Darrell says passerby may find a faint outline of his heart, perhaps instead of an artifact they’ll see a timeless reminder about how to make a dark day turn bright.