Sunday, 28 July 2013

Burials, fresh flowers and leaves

A long silence lies between us and our distant relatives, the Neanderthals, but one discovery surely speaks: a grave lined with pine boughs and flowers. These few bright blossoms and scented branches blow down the millenia and bring a breath of common humanity. No louder message may come: one may interpret as one will. This non-utilitarian act may say that here are creatures feeling loss, knowing respect and choosing a way of response. Liking flowers too! We recognise them not by the shape of their skulls or by their technology, but by their values and sensibilities. Freed from total expediency they were moved by other forces: by impulses we know in ourselves. No clods these Neanderthals, but beings already leavened, insprited.

From the start of chapter 1 of In and Out the Silence
By Elizabeth Brimelow
Published by Quaker Home Service in 1989

1 comment:

  1. There is an extra beauty to the choice of flowers to line a grave, as we did with our cat Snowy. The flowers are necessarily what is in bloom at the very day of the burial. So the flowers mark the exact season of the year of the death.


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