A Resting Place
Someone I used to know seems to have turned into a wooden bench, I really don’t know how I feel about it to absolutely honest. It’s like someone’s cast a spell on the poor man and with a flick of a wand he’s become a couple of pieces of wood and some stone. Maybe I read too many fairy tales.
You see, the other day I was happily ambling through the park, whilst Sausage and Darlek climbed on the big stones scattered around on the grass – when I stopped dead in my tracks and stared. A bench had appeared, with a plaque on it saying ‘David Rose, in remembrance, Love & Light’.
David was someone I often saw at community meetings, and behind the bar at the local pub every now and then. He was about 50 I think, and had a face that looked young despite his years. I was always embarrased when I saw him because I could never remember his grandson’s name, even though he always talked about him, and we would exchange random bits of information about how our respective children/grandchildren were doing. In all truth, I didn’t know the man very well and we spoke rarely, but what I do know is that he was very public spirited, was a driving force when it came to getting things done in the area and that he had a smile for everyone as far as I could see. His health had declined and he became ill whilst driving back from a friends house on New Years Day I think (although I’m not completely sure of the details).
He died about a year ago, and although I had the usual sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach and felt very sorry for his close friends and family when I heard the news, I hadn’t really thought about him since. This bench suddenly and very profoundly reminded me of him again, and of the fragility of life. The kids carried on running around, but I stood there for a minute staring at the bench, feeling the drizzle on my skin, the slippery turf beneath my feet and listened to the magpies chattering away in the trees nearby – I felt cold, and very unnerved. How can a whole life of doing things, of being with people, of talking, laughing, living end like this. A lone wooden bench.
I know I’ll feel a bit funny about sitting on that seat too. I mean, it’s rude to sit on someone’s knee if you don’t know them very well isn’t it? So, there you have it. A life lived, a bench left behind. Doesn’t seem right somehow.
Considering the news recently, I think mortality has been on my mind rather more than usual. RIP Dave Rose, and RIP all those poor souls who died in Japan over the weekend. May they rest in peace, and for those of us who remain, I hope we continue to live in ‘Love and Light’ for as long as we possibly can.