The first proper frost of the winter this morning, making cars and grass and stone sparkle in the sun. I love these mornings. They make me feel alive and sharp, healthy and inquisitive.
Because it is so muddy and slippery in the woods at the moment, with all the rain we’ve had, I took Ruby into the valley bottom today, to the graveyard. It’s drier walking for me, and she doesn’t get wet and filthy.
This was where she walked as a puppy and young flippertygibbert (Shakespeare, from “King Lear”, I think). I spent a lot of time, back then, sitting on a grave, watching her fruitless attempts to chase butterflies.
Sitting or lying on graves and tombstones is good practice for the future!
As you would expect, nothing much has changed in the graveyard since we were there last, and Ruby ran about trying to be a puppy again. I guess she was saying hello to all those people under ground she had got to know by smell alone when she was a kid.
One tree has disappeared at the east end of the church, a glorious old beech tree, that produced translucent, light lemon leaves every spring, and copper and rust leaves every autumn. It should have a gravestone erected to it
It is an emptiness in the space, somewhere the jackdaws can’t sit in anymore.
But, despite this tree-shaped hole in my memory, a graveyard is for ever, not just for Christmas, and the sun will continue to rise on it and the frost will continue to sparkle. I just hope there will be time for another beech to grow. It would be our gift to the future, along with smartphones, greed, daytime television and broken nations and societies. At least they will thank us for the tree.