What made me stop the car was seeing this juxtaposition:
A fire hydrant.
And just behind–flowers to honor and remember the dead.
Are they not both there to “save” something?
I’ve loved cemeteries for the last several years, finding them not spooky and macabre but peaceful and full of gentle but hopeful reminders of our finite life as human beings. Cemeteries remind me not (just) of death but of a life that is beyond our ultimate control everyday–nonetheless, it is one that is beautiful and still full of meaning and love, no matter how imperfect.
Yesterday was a very windy day and the flag at this headstone had gotten caught in itself. Nevertheless, it still flew like a sail, very beautifully.
The wind had knocked this wreath face down, but not the story behind it nor the intended interruption of death by the presence of remembrance in life.
Even our stone monuments to the dead crack, break, and fall when given enough time. But strangely, to me the brokenness gives a different type–a more interesting–beauty than the smoothness of the original headstones. Or it can. And no amount of breaking of tombstones will shatter a family’s memory of the past–and the largest, shiniest, newest headstone cannot ensure it.
The flowers here have blown to one side, contrasting with the (unshown) side where they are perfectly straight in their vase. I tend to think of life like this–we plan everything perfectly and then something comes along and knocks our plans to one side.
Sometimes we find we like it better that way.