Mailboxes on Monday

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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This post is in response to Jithin’s Mundane Monday Challenge #60 – a challenge to find beauty in the ordinary things.

starting over

I wish you all strength, hope and love in your days as you continue the journey.


100 thoughts on “Mailboxes on Monday

      1. Fortunately, I was not affected by being in the direct area. However, as a community and a country, it affects us all in Canada. Fortunately, the disaster has brought together Canadians and shown a loving and caring side of humanity.

        Liked by 2 people

  1. Thank you for sharing this heart-wrenching and absolutely inspiring message of hope and beauty in the wake of tragedy. It feels as if you have sent little ripples of love across the ocean! Have a magnificent week, and best of luck to your daughter on her driver’s test!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This is such an inspiring story Miriam. Recently, in our province of Alberta, a wildfire struck a community of 80,000 people and the whole city was evacuated. So many of them have not yet returned home and many of them have no home to return to … rebuilding will take years. I’m going to share this inspiring post on my FaceBook page in hopes that it inspires those who lost so much that much can be gained when we put our hearts together! Thank you again for this wonder-filled post. Smiles, Karen

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Karen, thanks so much for your kind words. I’m more than happy for you to share this on your FB page. If it can give any sort of comfort, peace or reassurance to those in Alberta who have lost so much it will be worth it. We’ve had our fair share of bushfire tragedies in Australia, this one in particular hit very close to home and impacted so many people. I feel for those who are going through this now. Warmest wishes to you. xo

      Liked by 1 person

  3. When I first started reading this I thought you were going to say that your daughter reversed into the letter boxes or something like that! That look great and what a wonderful project to bring the community together.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. These are beautiful, visually appealing and I love the variations. Marion Oakley is such an inspirational woman, helping the community to rebuild, bringing them together after unimaginable devastation. Thank you Miriam for sharing this with us. PS. I hope it well for your daughter!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. What a beautiful and unexpected find!

    Hope your daughter does well on her test!

    Saw you featured over on A Kinder Way and thought I’d pop in and check you out!

    Like

  6. First – What an amazing and inspirational story, and so much talent.

    Second – As always your pictures are great.

    Third – I’m obsessed with knowing what the wildlife shelter box is. I have googled a several variations to describe it and nothing. My mind is going crazy..Do you put injured animals in there and then call someone? Whats the biggest animal you can put in there? Is it safe to try and put a wild injured animal into a metal box? Please Miriam help this confused American out.

    -Steve

    Liked by 2 people

    1. You made me laugh, Steve. What a picture you painted. 🙂
      To be honest, I’m not 100 per cent sure but I presume it’s for the mail that comes from people with regards to the wildlife shelter. Can’t imagine trying to stick an injured wombat in there! 🙂 If I find out more I’ll let you know.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. With all the mosaic mailboxes, and my imagination I guess my brain didn’t process that as being a mailbox for an animal shelter. I think I’ll just continue to imagine Australia as this magical place that has cozy metal boxes for injured animals to comfortably wait for medical attention on every street corner. Just like here in America where we have a fast food restaurant or 7-11 on every corner. (not quite as magical)

        Liked by 2 people

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