This weekend has been incredibly restful; I went to the open day at the cemetery yesterday and aside from have a wander around I joined the Friend of Nunhead Cemetery, so will be there once a month to help out with various projects.
In the reasonably short time I was there I had a stroll around the outer paths – joined by a surprising crown of other people – and began noticing it is far more 'wild' than I had thought. The entire eastern half is woodland, proper woodland. The trees are a full canopy's worth and with surprising variety of species which I guess stems from a number of introductions and gravseide memorials. There are more ornamental varieties such as non-native hawthorn which has different leaves to the normal Crataegus monogyna (common hawthorn). There was ash, horse chestnut, dog roses in abundance, elder and oak and others I should see about identifying properly. I aim to visit as often as I can, because like no other place I have been to in London, a walk through the eastern paths are like leaving the city and being out in the somewhat wilds for a moment; there are some wide walkways and the occasional narrow path winding off into the undergrowth; a glance down a few gave me the definite impression there is something far wilder down there.
And all of this green, this growth and this buzzing, throbbing life growing and thriving upon the resting place of the dead. This one site, this one space neatly encapsulates something about our world that can easily be forgotten; this burgeoning season of life and living is rooted and feeds on the flesh of the dead. Soon enough it will be our turn to feed the roots of little saplings and things which crawl and burrow. For now though I think it is worth enjoying the sunlight.
This afternoon I went over to the 'allotment', took some photos and went for a stroll down the nearby lane to pick some elderflowers; this year my relationship with Sambuccus will start with elderflower cordial and end with Elder Rob.