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Without doubt, the most beautiful road sign I’ve ever seen in Australia

The creative caring of a rural community for the homeless

The world’s greatest community road sign #australia #caring #breaktherules #love

I get teary every time I drive past it. Which is quite often, as it’s near the end of my street on the way out of town towards the highway.

That stretch of road becomes long and narrow, without pavements or overhead lights, and cars can drive at 80kms (or faster) after leaving the slow limits of suburbia.

It’s officially Winter now, so despite my tropical address, it’s dark by 5.30pm, as everyone hurries home to their families and snug houses.

Except Alfred.

I can’t remember exactly how long he’s been around, but it’s years. Years and years of just walking in sandals on the road’s edge, leaning more and more to one side in his spine as time passes.

Who is he, my son and I used to wonder? And why is he always walking, sometimes wearing a garbage bag as a jacket, whatever the weather. Nut brown legs, stained clothes, occasionally carrying a stick with litter impaled on the end of it; always walking, no matter the weather.

A couple of years ago, we passed him while giving a lift to my son’s friend, and as usual I exclaimed at the man’s purpose and mystery. Our young passenger said his Dad had told him that the man’s whole family was killed in a car accident.

He’d supposedly never been in a car again.

The teenager said he thought his name was Alfred.

A few months ago, I walked into the Post Office in time to hear the mysterious walker humbly ask at the counter if there was any mail being kept for him?

‘Just one envelope Alfred, that’s all.’

He walked quietly past me out the door, with that particular tilt his body has, and I couldn’t resist mentioning him to the cashier.

‘So he is called Alfred! We’ve always wondered. Does he live round here?’

‘He has a house along C… Drive, on the way out of town. But we keep his mail here, because he’s rarely at home.’

‘Yes, I’ve seen him walking. We all have. He walks a lot hey, in all weathers?’

‘He had a terrible tragedy occur in his life, and he’s been fragile ever since. A terrible event, so he just keeps moving…’. Her voice cracked a little, and my eyes watered in response; we both knew we were talking about a man in deep pain, and that no one could salve it for him.

Which makes his unique personal road sign all the more glorious.

Someone in my town has gone to the trouble of designing, printing, constructing and installing a totally illegal warning sign for all of us, and I am moved to tears. I don’t know if Alfred has even noticed it, or what he’d think if he did, but I’m so touched that it’s there.

Really: have you ever seen a more beautiful thing?Β 

The creative caring of a rural community for the homeless

The world’s greatest community road sign #australia #caring #breaktherules #love

 

In complete gratitude for small town life and community caring, love G xO

 

52 Comments

  1. Coyote from Orion says

    Humbling. These are the things that sometimes I am reminded what our country is really about.
    Thanks for a real start to the day

    Liked by 3 people

      • Coyote from Orion says

        I have a cat eating breakfast next to me. Another day in 15 years she has not missed the ritual. I shall live today.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Coyote from Orion says

          A bit difficult to believe that I rescued this animal from death row and have inspired a confidence and self belief that is quite unjustified.
          I feel like Dr Frankenstein.

          Liked by 1 person

    • Amazing hey? I just had to share and celebrate. I’m sure Alfred has no idea about it, nor about how many folk watch out for him on the dark roads, wishing we could help him somehow…

      Liked by 1 person

    • You’re so welcome. Yes, if we all just care a little more, and take those caring actions, we can indeed create a better world ❀
      Thank you for commenting & getting it 😊

      Like

  2. Inspiring communal love πŸ™‚
    We also have a “Walking Man” here in Perth (it is what our family have always called him). I don’t know his story, but I have passed him many times over the years. I recently moved to his suburb and now know where he lives. He is very independent and shops at my supermarket pushing an old pram filled with his stuff as he is very elderly and almost bent double with kyphosis. As a nurse, his legs have always worried me as they are not in good condition, but I believe people look out for him and he is a quiet celebrity of sorts in the area.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Aww, bless him. I so appreciate that small communities have their own ‘special folk’, going about their business as they choose, & being respected & supported by those around them. Thank you so much for sharing your story from the other side of Oz πŸ˜ŠπŸ™πŸΌ G

      Liked by 2 people

  3. It is a beautiful caring sign, there should be more of them. Expressing something that we all miss in this zoom, zoom world, an emotion we all deny ourselves ❀
    Well posted and thank you for sharing that emotion ❀

    Liked by 1 person

  4. What a beautiful story, reminding us exactly how we’re supposed to treat each other. I’m sorry for whatever tragedy Alfred suffered in his past, but glad that he is in a community that cares for him so well. Thanks for sharing this.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. You’re right, that is the most beautiful sign I’ve ever seen. I hope Alfred does see it and realises just how much he’s loved. -hugs- This post made my day.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Pingback: Shared No. 46: Without doubt, the most beautiful road sign I’ve ever seen in Australia β€” by bone&silver – The Red Box

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