Two old friends of mine, a married couple, brought a vase of gladioli to church today and went out with me after the service to put them on Dymphna’s grave.
It’s been brutally hot the past week, and today was no exception. I had put fresh flowers — all of them chosen from among those that Dymphna planted and tended in our flowerbeds — on the grave a few days ago, and I expected that they would all have wilted away by today. But strangely enough, two varieties — bee balm and lilac-colored hostas — had retained their color and were still standing upright.
We put the gladioli next to them, paid our respects, and then walked through the scorching churchyard to our cars.
by Walter De la Mare
Here lies a most beautiful lady,
Light of step and heart was she;
I think she was the most beautiful lady
That ever was in the West Country.
But beauty vanishes; beauty passes;
However rare — rare it be;
And when I crumble, who will remember
This lady of the West Country?