Monday, 14 March 2016
From Death comes Life
There is a small churchyard a few roads from my house. It's where I was christened, where my mother rang the bells for twenty years, where my younger brother was christened and countless family friends married. Though I myself am not overtly religious, I still value the church for its memories, and for the tranquillity that can always be found there.
Surrounded on three sides by roads, one of which I walk home along every day, the quiet and stillness maintained between its walls are a small miracle, and this time of year, the yew trees and tall building are lit below with a riotous carpet of colour, the beginnings of Spring.
As I first enter the churchyard, through the small wooden gate that so many different versions of me over the years has passed through, the sound of the road dies away and is replaced by the soft song of a blackbird, hopping along the path in front of me. As I crouch to admire the tree's blanketing cover of crocuses, a robin watches me from the branches, small beady eye daring me to try to get closer to him.
While I'm not sure how I feel about religion, I know how I feel about science, and to me the understanding of how these plants death and life and the death and life of the humans around them all influence each other in nutrient cycles to keep new life going, is almost reassuring. The cyclical nature of the seasons and life in this way comforts me in it's simplistic success: it gives death a reason, maybe. I read an article a few weeks ago about renewable ways for your body to return to nature after you die, one of which included using your ashes to plant and grow a tree. I would like that, I think. To give something back.