I took a walk with my camera around my neighbourhood this afternoon. Normally it is very quiet at this time of day. If you listen carefully, you can hear the local children playing at one of the schools in the area. A dog or two might bark and a few cars go by. Wheelie bins line the streets like a guard of honour and road cones keep us out of the pot holes.
It is a huge contrast with last year. Last year the neighbourhood was awash with water and silt as a result of the soil liquefaction. Road cones and wheelie bins were used to mark the sink holes. Neighbours called out to each other to see if they needed help and cars were abandoned in the street.
Today, most of the silt has gone, the roads and houses are pretty battered and the road cones are serving a dual purpose. The road crews put the cones where the road works and potholes are. The locals have put flowers in them as a tribute to those who died last year as a result of the February earthquake. They are not fancy, florist shop flowers. They are flowers from our gardens – in a cone near some vacant land, I even saw dandelions and yarrow being used.
For me these road cone vases are a quiet tribute not only to those who died, but also to those who were injured and to those who rescued others in need.
See photos of road cones and flowers on our Flickr page.