Thursday, November 1, 2012

A walk with angels

 Warning: non-stitching related but picture heavy post follows!

I took a walk in a nearby graveyard. I had planned to do so for quite a while, as I like the quiet serenity graveyards have, but as a practising depressionist, I feared it may have a negative effect on me. Last week, however, I found a great excuse. I decided to snap a few pictures of angel statues to scare my beloved Whovian friends by mailing them the photos; and where else could I have found more angel statues than in a graveyard?

One morning, after taking my baby to school (she is in the second grade already, can you believe it) I decided it is time to brave the walk. The rain was gently falling, so I left my umbrella at home. I walked through the gates and after a few yards switched off my music player. There were hardly any visitors, so apart from the distant rumble of traffic there were no sounds, just the raindrops tapping on the leaves. My usually quick walking has automatically switched back to a slower pace.
I started snapping pictures, but after a few minutes I stopped looking for angels and started reading headstones.
I don't think graveyards are gloomy places. They do radiate sadness, but the good kind of sadness. The kind that makes you slow down and think, and remember, and smile at the things you remember. The kind of sadness that knocks you out of the rut of your dull daily routines and lets you take a long, unforgiving yet gentle look at who you are and where you are going. After all, graveyards are full of memorials for people who were, and probably still are, loved by many.
"He will forever be missed" said one headstone. "Our only child, life will never be the same without you" said another. "With never-ending love" sighed the third. One headstone said "Mom, I'm home" and it filled my heart with smiles, how true and how amazing too look at death this way!
Naturally, it made me think of my own mortality and I was moderately surprised to find I don't fear it. Whenever it is time, we all have to go, and I do not mind at all.
One grave, which I did not photograph, had a statue of a young woman cradling a baby in her arms. It was a resting place of a lady that had died in her twenties and I imagined she might have died at giving birth. I wondered if the baby survived and if it comes to see the grave.
Based on the dates, he or she must be in their fifties, if still alive. I thought of my daughter, imagined a child of her age staring on that lovely statue and dreaming of the mother she never met. It made me thankful for the time I get to spend with my baby. Every. Single. Second.
Like all parents, I hope I will die before my baby. I hope I can raise her right and raise her strong to carry on without me. I hope she will miss me but not cry for long. I hope she will move on and concentrate on the things she has, not the things she lost.
I hope she will remember how I used to tickle her, how I used to forget and mix up words, and she will laugh at the memory the same way she laughs at me now when I talk gibberish. I hope she will know the quiet, warm sadness that fills one's heart with peace, like the one I was blessed with during my graveyard walk.
And I hope that every time she sees a weeping angel statue, she will, like her mommy, automatically say: "don't blink, don't EVEN blink!" :)


Susan said...

Thank you for the beautiful photos! I do have to say that "don't blink" was my first thought when I saw the first photo - weeping angels are just creepy!!

Tammy said...

Lovely pics and beautiful statues. Thx for sharing.

Maureen said...

Wow. Stunning kids would freak if confronted with them lol!