The cherry trees in the cemetery are shedding their petals. On my morning run yesterday I found the narrow pathways between the graves covered in pink. After a couple of warm days, I was not prepared for the wind and the cloud covered grey skies.
Running in the cemetery comforts me though I can’t really explain why or what it is about these mostly ancient gravestones that ground me. Maybe because it seems they contain by their very essence the mystery of what it means to be alive?
Boris Johnson left the hospital and is recuperating in his country home.
The cemetery had only a few occupants, mostly dog walkers, a few exercising amidst the stones marking lives once lived. A girl did drills with a band, a camera posed precariously above the gravestone, her clothes and a bag lay the head of the stone. I wondered if it was someone she could have known that allowed her that level of intimacy.
I could hear the birds in the trees, flowers and leaves coming to life as winter nears its end. When the paths merge into the grass, I always turn around and start a new loop. It is a small cemetery. Most of the inner small paths end at a gravestone or two. I see as I keep running from the corner of my eyes the words Loving Memory carved on many of them. Grandma, mom, sister, brother, father, grandfather, child.
I had seen yesterday morning an aerial photograph of a gravesite on a New York island where coffins are being buried of Covid-19 victims. It is a long shot of an empty stretch of land, in the backdrop a long building. No words carved in stone for them.
I look for something positive, generous, kind to hold on to every day. Some days I find it in myself, some days in the news, on social media, in the supermarket or in my home. Some days I find it, the days I don’t, I despair and convince myself that I need to look harder.
When I am back at my desk later in the day, the girls come by to sit on my lap, tell me a story, complain or settle a fight. I breathe in the scents of their wriggling bodies and hope to create in my own bones and flesh an imprint of their youth, a remembrance of this time.