Life and Remembrance

In the cemetery.

Every day on the way to work, and on the way home again for that matter, I walk through a cemetery. At either end of this cemetery is a busy road but once in the cemetery there is a certain level of peace and quiet as you might expect from such a place. I often find it quite beautiful in there, no matter what the season there is always something. In the cold spring mornings the air is clear, the sunlight is low and the shadows are long. In the summer the trees sway gently in the warm breeze and the flowers and shrubs are in full bloom. In the autumn there are the colours of the leaves and berries and in the winter the stark silhouettes of bare trees caress the sky.

Life and death.

The cemetery really is a place for life, life and remembrance. There’s always wildlife in there; birds, squirrels, cats, slugs and worms, mice, butterflies and moths and other insects. I once saw a cat sitting patiently at the bottom of one of the ornamental yew trees in there; he (or she) was looking intently up into the tree and then the cat jumped about 4 feet into the air, knocking a small mouse to the ground who had obviously sought refuge in the tree. The mouse sat rock steady staring at the cat, the cat stared back and then pounced on the mouse, knocking it about with its paws. Life and death and remembrance.

I’ve looked at clouds from both sides now…

The cemetery is located on the side of a hill and there are a few different routes that I can take through it; the bottom path, the middle path and the top path. From the top path there is a good view out across the town. Sometimes on my journey through the cemetery I just stop and take-in my surroundings, watching the Red Kites overhead, listening to the wind in the tree branches or maybe just looking at clouds in the sky. I’ve always enjoyed cloud watching, so many fascinating shapes, colours, interplays of shadows and light. Often I look at the graves and wonder about the people they represent. Some are cared for, some have flowers and others have been forgotten, headstones leaning at crazy angles, forgotten lives. Life and death and obscurity.

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Remembrance.

I don’t know who these people were, many died before I was born and they have been forgotten, well, maybe not. As I walk through I see the headstones. There was a person who loved and feared, hoped and dreamed, fought and played. There was a person, a mother, a father, a daughter or son. Forgotten but still in some way remembered as long as people walk through the cemetery and take the time to look, to think.

 

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