Today I was challenged by Georgia Wellington to write a story and deliver it to a stranger’s letterbox.
There’s a house not too far away that has an amazing fence made from branches. So I decided ‘made from branches’ was my trigger. I made an envelope and addressed a letter explaining myself…
then enclosed this story:
My grandad took me to see the garden years ago. He said it always made him feel nostalgic, like a kid again.
The garden was unusual in that none of it was alive. Giant structures made from old branches towered over my 8 year old frame.
The locals had told us the old lady who lived there built it, and she that could often be spotted dragging a giant branch back to her house on foot.
No one really knew why she’d made it. She didn’t charge visitors and she rarely spoke to them. Most people thought she was an artistic genius not to be questioned.
But 8 year olds don’t know much about artistic recluses. We wondered off to a quiet part of the garden and saw her heaving an enormous branch to the top of a sculpture.
“What’s the point?” I asked loudly.
“It’s art,” grandad answered quickly.
But I was already running up to her.
“Excuse me lady, can we help you?”
“Don’t mind my granddaughter,” grandad called.
“It’s alright, I’d love some help,” she answered.
When we’d finished hauling the branch into place she bent down and whispered, “I collect a branch every day so I can remember.”
It didn’t make much sense to me at the time. I thought it must be an in-joke for artistic geniuses.
Years later my grandad developed Alzheimer’s. He barely remembers my name now. The other day I remembered what he’d told me about the garden making him feel nostalgic, so I took him.
The lady was gone, but the garden remained. Grandad looked bemused as usual, so I took him to the spot where we’d helped her with the branch.
His face lit up and I was reminded of an old picture of him.
“It’s art,” he said.
I delivered it this afternoon so now we wait. In the letter I ask them tweet or facebook me back if they like it. Fingers crossed!
A few hours after posting it to them I received this comment on facebook:
“Hello there! we just received your beautiful letter. My partner always has this strange habit of checking the mail box at odd hours of the night..even though the mail has always been delivered. now it seems his search of the empty letter box has been fruitful! This was a wonderful unexpected gift! We are glad that someone noticed our artistic fence. Jaarlz Ross and I made it on Christmas Eve with visiting family. Its been a very long work in progress as he chopped the tree down himself from the backyard and initially just shoved them in a hole. A unique sinister and creepy look – . But now the fence is done we are glad people enjoy it and are even inspired by it! Soon our “cool-fence house” will be known as “Bonaluga house” as we turn it into a small gallery space. You are invited and we’ll have your letter on display for sure! Thanks again and keep on extreme writing!”
So I asked them for a photo and got this beauty: