Saturday, 29 December 2012

Thoughts from a graveyard...


Bill Bryson, in his excellent book 'At home', mentions that an archaeological colleague said that in the churchyard near his house, there were about 20,000 bodies buried, which meant that the area around the church had risen by several feet, and also that it looked as though the church had sunk into the ground. The graveyard has had to accommodate all those material bodies over all these the years!

'The Turrets' has the local churchyard on two boundaries, and also the east thoroughfare which used to have a shop, a bank, and much more interesting, a pub. All these have gone now (thanks to one of Mr Hitler's 'V' rockets), but we strive to continue the tradition of the Market Cross, which adorned our immediate locality.

But looking out at the graveyard from our house, I now wonder at how on earth (or beyond), so many families in our immediate district, now lay quiet and undisturbed, and how so many of the names have vanished without trace. To my reckoning  there may well be up to 100,000 bodies buried close to us here, and all of these people have a connection to me and my family.

I walk JRT through the churchyard most days, and reckon I can look at the stones and the graves with some experience, but now, understanding that there are probably several thousand more buried there, I'll really have to wonder why we're all here, and for such a short time...

11 comments:

Thud said...

Contact with the past and a sense of continuity is priceless.

Michael said...

Obviosly, the more money you had back then, the better chances of getting a headstone.

We've still got big old family names dotted around, like any other place, but one or two seem to have been unable to continue the line and vanished, which is a pity.

rvi said...

When I was very young, I had an aunt and uncle who lived in a house just outside the local village graveyard. No problems by day, but by night the wind rustling the leaves in the trees and the shadows of dancing leaves on the bedroom wall from the street light outside kept me awake half the night! Ghoulies and ghosties and things that go bump in the night...

Philipa said...

There are many theories as to why we are here, from no purpose at all (random selection) to a teenage higher being's science project (I love 1950's B+W SciFi). We are here. You might as well ask 'why does he love me?' If he does and that is glorious, enjoy x

Happy New Year, said Pip

lilith said...

I don't have the answer to why you are here, but I am very glad that you are.

Life is strange and death stranger still. Last night I dreamed that Bob Dylan kissed me. I thought "Hang on mate, what about Elby? Oh, he probably won't mind, it's Bob".

Scrobs... said...

It's never bothered us, Reevers, and they're a peaceful crowd out there...

There are one or two household names there, and they're the ones which seem to be well looked after too!

Scrobs... said...

Deep thoughts, Pips!

It must be the mechanics of life kicking in, with survival being top of the list, until you don't, then someone else takes over...

Scrobs... said...

Actually, that really is the logical answer, Lils.

You know Elby likes Bob Dylan, he wouldn't have kissed him if he hadn't! You got a snog into the bargain, so everyone was happy!

Dreaming is defragging in a basic pure operation, and since I made that up, I automatically interpret dreams the same way; it's unravelling all the thoughts, senses, fears etc from the day, and putting them back into the right slots.

I would suspect you're better than most people at doing this, because you're experienced in such matters.

Blue Eyes said...

Why are we here? Don't ask, don't tell?

Happy new year!

Electro-Kevin said...

We're not 'here'. 'Here' is already 'there' by the time you've thunk about it.

Happy New Year.

A K Haart said...

"I'll really have to wonder why we're all here"

Strange places, graveyards. I always wonder about all those life histories, most of which will never be told.