Things I found at the Garden of Remembrance in the Paisley's Woodside Cemetery, on the outskirts of Glasgow, Scotland
I found this tree against a white sky bursting with clouds. Its leafless branches twisted and bent in wry circuits of dormant life. A rooted testament to the stubbornness of the Scottish Lowlands. Green vines had began to slither above the frozen ground, to creep up the tree trunk, to climb and encroach, claiming back the mantle of verdure covering the dead like a blanket.
I found this tombstone. It was shaped like a heart and its elaborate contours had survived cruel winters, hail storms, and gusty winds. Sculpted inside the heart was a long-haired woman or maybe an angel with wings that looked like auburn tresses. The long-haired/winged angel is holding a cross that seemed untouched by time or nature. Rain water had filled the shallow crevasses and the soft nooks of the heart washing out most of the woman, leaving intact only her hair and a black cross shining in the dimlight like a sword.
I found a Christmas wreath. Acorns, cinnamon bundles, Christmas balls and a green bow made of Paisley-patterned ribbon adorned the wreath. It was left for Susan Simpson, an 18-year old woman who died in 1967. Her parents didn't bring the wreath. I know this much. They died in the eighties and are buried with her in a family mausoleum. Who loves Susan Simpson so much that 45 years after her death she still gets fresh flowers and a lovely wreath? Whoever you were, Susan (can I call you Susy?) here's to you and Merry Christmas.