If you sit for a time on a seat near a colony of shaped stone, and let the world pass you by, something can seem to occupy the stillness. The stirrings of something. It doesn’t take long before they’re nearer than they were, these busy people with their silent footfall, their faces turned away or not quite visible, getting on with their lives. Can they see me? I get up and stroll slowly, slowly among them, but they are not here, they are the other side of something, somewhere beyond a threshold. Messages are everywhere, names, dates and family roles, some with good words for their going, but they don’t see them, those notice-boards are for us, for me, for a time and times after. Theirs is a street of other times, other voices, it is not the same, not the same seeing, not the same knowing. Do they see each other? It is not the same, nor is it the same going, but something is stirring. A to-ing and fro-ing of strangers, of depths and distances, of families and times unknown. Yet all is as bright as the copper beech at the churchyard wall, the yellow roses bobbing slightly in the breeze, the tall nettles and grasses devouring a battered old grave at the back. I return to my bench in the shadows.

It is all in the mind. I sit alone in a garden of rest. And yet, while it may take my presence to make it so, no-one can tell me this is not a living meeting-place, with a current of being as sudden and as strong as any down the ages.

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