Monday, November 14, 2005


The weather was almost perfect on Saturday, mild, with blue skies. I got started on mulching leaves with my lawn mower, but ran out of daylight. Actually, almost out of daylight. I abandoned the leaves for a chance to take an afternoon walk with Partner and Franklin the dog in the fading light. Most of our walks, morning and evening, are in the dark, so it felt wasteful (in a good sense) to do our tracks around the townlet while actually seeing the landscape lit by the sun.

Sunday was colder, but after nearly three hours, I got the entire yard that was covered up to a foot or more in leaves all mulched. The flower beds are full of leaves -- good for mulch/protection. The grass is now uncovered. There will be some residual leaves drifting into the yard, but the not the pounds that have fallen over the last week or so.

Sunday afternoon, the choir gathered at the home of our friend, and once again we sang hymns together in four part harmony. Perhaps this is the kind of afternoon activity of the late 19th century, but for all of us it was a special time, reminding us again that we like to make music together, that the music we sing has meaning for us, and that doing it together has meaning.

At church, the cloister garden is cluttered with the work of stone masons, building the second set of slots for the parish's columbarium. The first set, built in the 1990s, is now almost full of urns. To see the wall next to it stripped of its outer stone, knowing what it will be used for, is a reminder of our mortality. Now past fifty, I have lots of reminders of my mortality. That is a good thing, particularly in the context of the parish.

Often, at the end of the funeral or burial service, the entire church recesses out into the garden for the internment right there in the columbarium, not so dissimilar from the church graveyards of earlier times. Since the choir lines up in warm months in the cloister before the Sunday morning Eucharist, the columbarium, with the names inscribed, is something we see weekly. We worship with the reminders of those who come before us, generation to generation. Americans are not used to those kinds of links and reminders.

I still have bulbs to plant. I have a couple of small redbuds to dig up and move. Maybe even divide more hostas. I am not sure there will be time to do all of this, but until the ground freezes, becoming harder than it does on the hottest dry days of the hottest month, I will think and try to do these small projects.


lemming said...

Our columbarium (spelling? ) is lovely, but it's tucked off in a seldom-seen corner. It was two years before I ever found out it existed and then only because I asked. I prefer what you describe.

Rob said...

Well, I meant to bring is some fuschias and begonias last night, and to go through and pick the remaining green peppers. I forgot. And at 22 degrees this morning, I think that may have done them in...

BTW, cat is doing better. Up to day 8 on the eyedrops. Almost there...!