An Amazing Six Months
It was the day after the Midsummer Solstice, although the weather felt more like November. I stood on a windswept, rainy hill above the River Dart watching a lady painting heartfelt words onto the lid of a cardboard coffin. Neither of us spoke.
Ahead of us stretched a wildflower meadow, leading steeply down to the river valley. A small group of people was gathered some way off, huddled around a fire pit, trying to keep warm against the unseasonally cold wind. To our left was a yurt in which lay another two cardboard coffins and a gazebo housing a bamboo coffin, a willow coffin and a felted shroud.
This was the official launch of the new Sharpham Meadow Natural Burial Ground, close to where I live in South Devon. I was there at the invitation of Rupert Callender of The Green Funeral Company, who is one of the driving forces behind the new burial ground.
Rupert and I met two weeks earlier when I interviewed him for the Uplifting Stories website. The weather on that day was a complete contrast. It was a hot Summer’s day and the sliding doors of The Green Funeral Company were thrown wide open. The sun streamed into the comfortable room, warming our backs, as we sat on squashy sofas, drinking tea and chatting. We talked for three hours but it felt like no time at all. I was completely captivated by Rupert’s story and moved to tears by some of the stories he told of funerals he has organised. You can read his story in the Death and Loss category.
I think the way people respond to death and loss is a great illustration of the power of the human spirit. Rupert put it this way: “When someone dies, people are at their best, even though it is one of the worst experience of their lives. People show themselves to be brave and full of love. They have a core of strength that is incredible to be around. The “Facebook” world that we all live in is stripped away and you see people for who they really are. It is incredibly liberating to be in the moment and it makes you optimistic about people in general.”
The Midsummer Solstice was nearly six months to the day since I first began working on the Uplifting Stories website. It’s been an amazing six months. I hope you enjoy stepping out of the Facebook world for a few minutes and sharing some of these inspirational stories.
Have an uplifting day.