The air still retained its heavy feeling, but the low-lying clouds blocked out the sun, trying to make up its mind about opening up its grey, bloated clouds for another thunderstorm. I went as part of a small group to an interment service for P who passed away six months ago. Her ashes would rest at a cemetery in a bedroom community 30 minutes outside of Winnipeg.
At first my group, myself and two other women from the library, wondered if we would find the gathering. We saw our first clue by the small group forming, most people simply standing, others talking in hushed voices. Then we saw a colourful array arranged around the grave site:
They flapped in the breeze with its bright colours standing guard over the headstone and its newly dug grave, each had a heart at the end, lifting in the breeze in place for whose own hearts still felt too heavy with grief.
The same minister from the memorial presided over this service. She opened with a passage from Ecclesiastes, a beautiful part of the bible yet not one to read in a bad mood. Everyone knows how it opens with the writer wondering what’s the point of life, yet still finding a sliver of meaning in the toil. Anyone having a bad day at work would relate to it, and whomever wrote it sounded like they had a bad day at work. It’s in chapter 3 most people, even those not familiar with the bible, remember a few lines of a familiar text:
There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens:
a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.
Ecclesiastes 3: 1-8 (NIV)
While the minister read the passage, The Byrds classic played in my head. Most remember the song from the Forest Gump soundtrack by The Byrds. I wanted to find a new interpretation of Peter Seeger classic, and found an acoustic version by singer Sara Niemietz:
For those wanting to go back to the source without listening to The Byrds: