Pauline had particularly requested that we all wear bright colours at her funeral this afternoon. Hence I obediently donned my bright red coat and a similarly bright scarf before setting off for church. Mr B looked a little
nonplussed: “I thought you were going to a funeral?” he queried.
I arrived to find the church packed to the rafters, though not many people appeared
to be wearing bright colours. Looking around, however, I was comforted to see splashes of red, green and purple worn by fellow parishioners who, like me, had taken Pauline at her word. It seemed, I reflected, the least I could do…
Before setting forth, when I retrieved my red coat from the hall cupboard, I was surprised that it seemed to be so heavy. Investigating further I found the pockets weighted down by
a number of pebbles, collected from Worthing beach during our last Birdy Group get-together. I had been telling my fellow birders about the stone circles my brother in law makes, using pebbles with holes in them and threading them onto wire coat hangers bent
into shape. I have one hanging from my garden fence, a present from my brother in law and an inspiration for future Beach Related Endeavours. My companions had been sufficiently interested in the idea to spend time exploring the beach for stones with holes
in them - until the bitter wind drove us into the Bluebird Café. Every one who had been lucky enough to find a suitably holey stone made sure to make a present of them to Yours Truly, hence my pockets full of pebbles.
Half term is coming up and The Rascally Trio will be visiting Mr B and me. Their mother, the Middle of the Darling Daughters, has it in mind that I may be able to help out with a new project in which she has so far not involved her
littl’uns. It’s called something like Hook Rocks - Hook being the village where they live - and is, as far as I can tell, nothing to do with rock ‘n’ roll, though I could, of course, be mistaken. My daughter did explain it all to me,
but we were communicating via FaceTime when she did, which meant she kept having to break off to cope with Small Emergencies. My understanding, for what it’s worth, is that families hide decorated rocks (of all shapes and sizes) around the village for
other families to find and enjoy.
Now I live near Worthing beach which boasts quite the most extensive range of rocks and pebbles from which The Rascally
Trio can take their pick, bearing them back to our place to be painted and decorated as they see fit. My one concern, though I haven’t voiced it to the Trio’s mother, is that I can’t see any of them willingly giving up their rocks, once decorated.
All three are known for their Possessiveness of Specific Objects. I accept that the Specific Objects are more often than not of the toy dinosaur variety but I’m just saying. Nevertheless I am already looking forward with Great Expectations, to the fun
ahead. Like almost all grandparents, I am Up For It.
Pauline’s young grandchildren spoke at her funeral so very bravely, giving us all a glimpse of the fun
and the laughter they’d shared with their much-loved “Granny.” It would have been a hard heart, indeed, that didn’t shed a tear at the sound of those broken voices, facing probably the first Great Loss of their young lives.
I walked home after the beautiful service, my fingers wrapped around the one pebble I’d left in my pocket. I could feel the hole, hollowed out by the piddock - like
the hole in a close family’s collective heart at the loss of a loved one. Then I thought of the stones threaded together as my brother in law had shown me, to make the stone circle hanging on my garden wall.
The Circle of Life.