I live in a tiny hamlet in the countryside, and I drive to work every day to a town only ten minutes away. It’s the town I am so blessed to work in, play in and have my children go to school in.
My drive to work is one of the best parts of my day. I get the privilege of driving past some incredibly beautiful sites that fill me up as I start my morning.
Apple orchards and vineyards. Eagles soaring. Donkeys grazing. Little local cafés and Mom & Pop shops with chalkboard signs out front. Patios filled with happy people.
And, of course, a pole.
Yes. You heard me.
One very specific cement pole.
It’s not the pole itself per se, but more what it’s a canvas for.
On it, about four feet up from the ground, are six brightly coloured strips of tape, each one placed above the next. Purple. Blue. Green. Yellow. Orange. Red.
Tape on a pole.
And I love everything about it.
It is clear.
It is simple.
It is so utterly perfect in that simplicity.
Aesthetically it is bright and bold and beautiful, on dreary days and on the sunny ones.
There were no policies involved in this tape.
There were no bylaws or hoops to jump through.
It is nothing that is scheduled to go up – or to come down. No calendar is involved for a certain day, month or week. You don’t post it or remove it.
It is ever-present.
Nobody voted and nobody debated.
There was no ceremonial raising of anything.
It just … is.
And to me its presence seems to whisper something both subtly and yet somehow boldly at the same time.
To me it seems to say “Welcome. This is who we are.”
It seems to say it even stronger than the perfectly landscaped official-town-designated welcome sign as you enter town limits.
This pole is at the start of the downtown core and to me THIS is where I see “the proof” of a community. It’s there it seems real.
I love driving and walking past that pole. It makes me proud to work in this community. To have my child go to school in this community. To have both my children play and be present with their friends here.
It is – for me I guess – the simplest things – the quietest things – that sometimes speak the loudest.
So yes. There is a pole in a town. That is, I will say it again, utterly perfect in its simplicity and presence.