Monday, 21 January 2013

There is a bicycle route that leads

into the city that I use on a regular basis. It runs parallel to a major road but the bicycle route has the advantage of being almost free of vehicular traffic. It is used almost solely by the residents of the surrounding districts.
It is not surprising to find people walking along the road rather than the footpath. The road is in a better condition than the surrounding footpaths.
What is surprising is to find a very elderly woman walking very slowly along the road. This very elderly woman was coming towards me. Every few steps she would stop and pick something up from the road.
I wondered if she had dropped something and slowed as I came towards her. I could see nothing on the road that looked as if it had been dropped. There were the usual leaves, jacaranda pods and other natural detritus. For once there did not seem to be any soft drink cans, iced coffee cartons or other discarded fast food containers.
As she came closer she looked up and smiled. No, definitely not a "bag woman" and not "strange" either. She told me this and showed me what she was collecting. Yes, jacaranda pods, leaves and other naturally fallen detritus.
       "I build things." She told me.
I must have looked surprised. (I was.) She flipped open her mobile phone and showed me a photograph. There was a work of art built from the jacaranda pods and other naturally fallen items. It was lovely and I told her it was. She laughed.
       "I have made hundreds of them. I give them to people who need them. It doesn't cost me anything but my time."
Nothing but her time and a little imagination. There are not many people who could see art in the "rubbish" on the road.

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