Wednesday, April 20, 2011
Spring is a busy time here - lambing, gardens to plant and maintain, fencing to fix after winter rains and vaccinations. And it's time to visit all the graves scattered through out the farm to touch up the tombstones.
At one point I wondered if I should just let this task go. These creatures served the Earth in the way they were intended and now rest in the dirt, their bodies returning nourishment to the tree roots around them. It takes days to clean the little stones and repaint them. I even have a map scribbled somewhere so I don't lose track of which grave is which.
I was very moved when we visited a Mission in San Diego area where the dead, many American Indians that had helped create the Mission and grow the food, were buried in a simple grave area. A book was kept noting who had died. The markers were plain and unmarked. It was a very humble but emotive spot for me to stand. Keeping my various cemeteries for fallen birds, bats, mice in love, hard working mother sheep with lambs at their side, roosters and cats, chickens, and one old donkey, is perhaps my most compassionate work to date.