Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Dancing on Graves

When I was little I got in trouble for walking on a dead man. I was four. And I was walking through a cemetery. 

The dead man’s widow pointed to the rectangle outlined in white stones on the ground and said, “That’s my husband and you’re walking on him.” I looked down and saw a rectangle outlined in white stones.

I was four and confused.

My mother was older than four and weirded-out by my love of cemeteries. The graveyard was across the street from the apartment we lived in, and I would beg her to go there for walks. I still remember crossing the street to walk in the cemetery. 

She couldn’t figure me out. 

It wasn’t the dead people that I loved to visit. It was the flowers. The cemetery was the one place in the city that had flowers, and I couldn’t get enough of them, even at four. 

It’s still true.

My grandchildren recently asked me, “YaYa, are seeds alive?” Ahhh, such a good question. 

I said, “They will be with the right amount of dirt, water, and sun, and someone that cares enough to fuss with them. And then look out . . . you’ll have flowers . . . someday. It takes time.”

I watched grandchildren scrabble through the dirt, and turn over stones, looking for whatever might be under there, and I thought about seeds needing dirt, water, sun, and someone who cared enough to fuss with them . . . and time enough for the blooming.

It’s almost magic, growing stuff. Isn’t it? It may be a slow magic that can take a lifetime but then there are flowers, even at the cemetery, and they can make you want to dance on graves. 

Linda (Flower Child) Zern

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