The Benches /01

Sometimes people don’t see me because they are so busy reading the benches.

I mean, of course, the commemorative plaques and epitaphs on the backs of the benches.  There are many of them in Parsonage Gardens.  Lazing in the tree, I can see the words “Rest awhile in memory of Bill and Ivy Cartwright” engraved in the wooden backrest of one of the nearest benches facing me.  And so I do.  I rest awhile (and then a while longer) in memory of Bill and Ivy, whoever they were.

"Rest awhile in memory of Bill and Ivy Cartwright"

“Rest awhile in memory of Bill and Ivy Cartwright”

There is a man who comes to sit by the magnolia tree on a Tuesday, because his wife’s ashes were scattered on the ground beneath it (no trace of them now).  So I am mindful, as I go about my business of being a leopard in the tree, that some visitors to the gardens come here to connect with someone they loved, and have lost; and I try to tread carefully, with light paws – respectfully – around their moments of reverie.

I am reminded of this quote, introduced to me by my mother, some years ago:-

“I do my thing and you do your thing.
I am not in this world to live up to your expectations,
And you are not in this world to live up to mine.
You are you, and I am I,
and if by chance we find each other, it’s beautiful.”

(‘Gestalt Prayer‘ by Frederick E. (or Fritz) Perls).

When I began this post, I looked up the word ‘epitaph’ online, to make sure it meant what I thought it did (and it does), and I came across this rather lovely blog.