Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Where have all the flowers gone?

I am working on a page for the Visit Norfolk website – Ten churchyards to die for ! The final list is bound to include Horstead and Belaugh with meadow saxifrage and oxeye daisies blowing in the wind. I know and have worked in both of them. Perhaps you have your own favourites.  I’d love to know which they are and I’ll be happy to add them to my list!

This year while all our local churches were following tradition and had no floral decorations during Lent,  around the ruins of St.Theobald’s, Hautbois daffodils were trumpeting new life! It was as if they couldn’t wait for Easter! A churchyard, teeming with wild life is a paradox! It teases the mind and makes you think!
We waited until Easter Day to fill our churches with flowers and celebrate Jesus victory over death!  This too is a paradox, or the opposite side of the coin of the same paradox. Cut flowers are dying!   Hmnn... but there are seeds, of course!
The language of flowers and death is heard well beyond our churches, where flowers  appear spontaneously in temporary shrines a sign of people’s solidarity with others grief. As we begin the commemorate the centenary of the Great War, flowers stir memories and memories flowers . In May 1915 John McCrae wrote the often quoted words:
“In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.”
And as we think about such things, some of us unredeemed hippies find ourselves  singing  Where have all the flowers gone ......

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