A few days ago I was having a very busy day. I spent most of the day in the car in fact, driving from A to B and back again, only to do it all over again. On my way to a 4pm appointment I found myself in an unusual situation-I was really early! By almost an hour! That almost never happens to me. So how was I going to fill in this time? I knew when I reached my destination I had a few notes to read but that would take me twenty minutes at most, thirty if I really stretched it.
So, driving along, I saw a familiar turn off and on the spur of the moment I took it.
The day was cold and bright like today, clear azure skies, no clouds, lots of wind and lots of sunshine. I parked the car, checked and double checked that the car was locked. I was driving my father’s car that day so I was extra careful, it wouldn’t do to come back to an empty space! And with coat on, off I went.
I approached the gate but it seemed to be closed.
“Oh no,” I thought “it’s closed to visitors today”.
When I got closer I saw that the wind had just blown it shut though and I went on in. Walking over the railway bridge I looked ahead. There was no one around, I had the place to myself.
Not another living soul to be seen.
I walked up along the wall to my right watching out for the familiar avenue. I found it, went along a little bit, eyes peeled. I couldn’t find what I was looking for though so I retraced my steps and continued on to the next avenue. I noticed a strange noise. A tinkling type of noise, very light but distinct. After another two avenues I decided to approach from the other side and I ended up in the original one and there it was, hidden in the third row, a familiar and welcome sight. My grandparent’s headstone. I hadn’t been there for a year or so. It looked clean, has worn well and doesn’t look too shabby. Unfortunately the same could not be said for the ground in front of the headstone. I pulled some large weeds and cleared away the broken head of an angel from a neighboring grave off theirs. I said hello and a prayer and I promised I would be back to sort out the grave and make it look better for them.
And off I went to dump the weeds and broken angel head bits in the bin.
I could still hear the strange sound but looking around I realised I was still alone-apart from the thousands of dead people, but I’m pretty sure it wasn’t them! Eventually as I was leaving I passed right by a grave with lots of beautiful, fresh white flowers on it. One of the bunches had blown over into the footpath so I stopped to pick it up and replace it on the grave. And I noticed the rosary beads tied around part of the headstone. It was rosary beads! Hundreds of pairs of rosary beads of all sorts of sizes tinkling and blowing in the wind were making that lovely noise!
It was an unexpected stop in a day of hurry and rush and stress and it chilled me right out. It’s nice to visit family, no matter where they are.
A perfect day for a stroll in the cemetery 🙂
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