Lilies and cherry blossom

There are kestrels nesting in a tree on the edge of Godlingston cemetery.  Having been close to them twice this week at burials, I wondered at the strange cry that I was hearing, and which I was told was the kestrels, and, subsequently, having studied the books and learnt more, I gather is their call, especially in courtship.  

 

Yesterday we laid Philippa Keeling to rest in a grave beneath a cherry tree.  The blossom has all gone for another year, but it will flower over her each Spring, and that would please her.  We stood for some time at this quiet spot, the few of us that are allowed the intimacy of a ‘lockdown’ funeral service.  In the sunshine and beauty of that place it is hard to think that there is anything wrong.

 

Cyclists paused at the entrance to the road, and took a seat and a rest, and a drink to quench their thirst.  Another family arrived to visit a grave, and I spoke briefly with them, remembering the sheeting rain that welcomed us on the day of their loved-one’s burial.   There is a peacefulness about most cemeteries, but we are fortunate in Godlingston that it has just the right balance between openness and the shelter and shade of trees.  

 

Philippa’s flowers are white with lilies, recalling us to Easter and resurrection, and the hope that lies within us that is a daily reminder in this season of the year.  In St Mary’s churchyard there is an immense clump of arum lilies in bloom at the moment.  Their purity and beauty, exquisite in loveliness, highlight all that is wonderful and good in God’s world, and the hope and promise of life eternal.

John Mann