Soon my daughter sits her final drive test for her license. So this afternoon we went driving for some more practice. We ended up way off the beaten track, into the hills beyond where we live. To a tiny little place called Strathewen.
It’s a pretty area. Rolling green hills, olive and apple orchards with wineries nearby and some of the most gorgeous mosaic letter boxes … in one of the most amazing communities.
Back in 2009, in what became known as Black Saturday, this tiny hamlet was decimated by bush fire. One of the few homes that survived
belonged to local mosaic artist Marion Oakley.
It was a devastating time but she brought the community together. She provided a space for people to come and talk, cry, grieve and ultimately renew. She envisaged what became known as The Letterbox Project. And in time it gave the community a purpose again.
Local women and residents got together and started creating art – and hope.
In the months and years that followed, with help from local suppliers, government grants and the support of neighboring communities, The Letterbox Project put life back into the small community. People began rebuilding. Starting with a hope, a dream, a letterbox.
This is the result. Today there’s color again in the once blackened and charred landscape. Bright letterboxes lovingly and painstakingly created, with mosaics of yellow, red, white, purple, green, orange line the streets.
It’s an amazing place of hope. Today each letterbox is not just a place for letters but a memorial of the fire and, more importantly, a reminder of the resilience and strength of the people of Strathewen. A community rebuilt with love in their mailboxes.
This post is in response to Jithin’s Mundane Monday Challenge #60 – a challenge to find beauty in the ordinary things.