Called home

Greenbank Cemetery…good for a New Year’s Day walk (image: copyright Kate Lambert)

This afternoon I took my yearly stroll around a cemetery.

A few years ago, I planned my perfect birthday, and one of the things I realised I didn’t like about being born on the 1st January was that everyone is in a sort of prelapsarian buoyant mood. Resolutions have been made and everything feels fresh (even if your head doesn’t quite match up).

It’s great, but if I get to choose what I do with my day, I think I want a bit more balance.

So, mixing exercise with the contemplation of mortality, I decided to institute the tradition of walking around a cemetery.

It’s really quite calming. Go with friends or family. You might talk at a more intimate level than usual, and you may even pick up some interesting historical titbits.

The main thing that struck me today was the number of graves that had the gloriously ambiguous “called home” in place of the word “died”.

It can suggest an other-worldly or this-worldly understanding of things. “Home” could be the earth on which we live and move and stand, or it could be the traditional theological understanding of heaven. It could be both. It could be neither.

I’ve written about Home before, but not with the desire for fluidity and to negate pretension.

It’s nice to ponder. I like to get a bit of my year’s done early doors…

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3 thoughts on “Called home”

  1. Getting someone ready for burial used to be called ‘homing the spirit’ I’d rather think of it as stepping into another room, that could be a home…

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  2. Elisabeth – I know nothing else but the sharing! I’ve got used to it now, and I actually can get away with having a nice relaxed birthday with a few people on the day, and a bigger party later on in the month!

    Maggie – I do like “homing the spirit”! Language really is a beautiful beast 🙂

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