In Strathewen beautiful mosasic letterboxes signify the rebirth of a country community that was devastated by bushfire back in 2009. I wrote about it last week. Just a couple of kilometres out of the tiny settlement is an amazing tree that I nearly missed when I was there recently. And which I revisited today.
It’s located at the Peter Avoca Memorial Pavillion, a place you could easily drive through without blinking an eye lid if you didn’t know the history.
After bush fire ravaged this area it was a long time before rebuilding was complete and residents moved back in to start a new life. Today it’s a lovely country drive but not really on the way to anywhere significant. An ordinary Australian community.
Then in the middle of nowhere, you see it. Beyond the pavilion. A tree reaching to the sky, seemingly blending into nature but quite a separate entity. It was erected on Valentines Day in 2014 and took five years to make, thanks to the Australian Blacksmiths Association and Project Manager Amanda Gibson.
It stands 10 metres high and is made from copper and stainless steel. It looks like a dead, fire affected gum tree and stands as a memorial for those who lost their lives.
Hundreds of blacksmiths from 20 countries around the world forged these leaves.
Although this is not a real tree what it stands for is very real.
The tree includes 3500 leaves inscribed with the names of people who died in the Black Saturday bushfires as well as messages of hope for those left behind.
Hundreds of volunteers worked tirelessly and gave their time and effort to make this project become a reality. Like the letterboxes it’s another reminder of the human spirit which flourished after such terrible destruction.
Today the tree seems to blend perfectly into the landscape around it.
All because of the strength and resilience and hard work of this community and the kindness of people around the world in forging together for a common purpose.
Underneath the tree base is the inscription:
I have risen from the flames
I have stretched across the earth
I am shining with your name
Forged with fire, made with love.
This post is in response to Jithin’s Mundane Monday Challenge #61 – a challenge to find beauty in the ordinary things.
Wishing you beauty, hope and strength as we move into a new week.