Sunday, 10th May, was the day Standing Women had their annual stand for a better world scheduled. Each year they ask that everyone participating stands:
"for five minutes of silence at 1 p.m. your local time on May 10, 2009, in your local park, school yard, gathering place, or any place you deem appropriate, to signify your agreement with the statement below. Please stand at a different hour with a different time zone if 1 p.m. is not your preferred time.We ask you to invite the men who you care about to join you."
Well, this year I had completely forgotten the date, but remembered just in time to make my stand... in a cemetery!
Here is where I stood on Sunday, at Tomnahurich cemetery in Inverness.
Tomnahurich is much more than just a cemetery and on Sunday the experience of being there turned out to be much more than I expected as well. Tomnahurich means "Hill of the Yews", but once, long long before there was a graveyard there, it was known as the "Hill of the Fae", a magical gateway between the worlds of mortals and magic.
The first time I ever set foot on Tomnahurich was when I came out on holiday to meet my future husband. That time I felt something really strange and amazing... and I've always wanted to go back. I've never had the chance, but this past Sunday hubby had to run an errand in Inverness and since it was a beautiful sunny day I suggested we go for a walk afterwards. I asked to go to the hill, since it's almost exactly seven years since I was last there. I like cemeteries. They're always peaceful, usually have lovely trees...
...and in this case also stunning views of Inverness and the surrounding area from the top.
You see, Tomnahurich is shaped, as hubby puts it, a bit like an ocean liner. It's a long hill with a flat top. Here's the view from the top, first from one end and then the other...
When I was here the first time, walking along that middle path, I stepped into the centre and felt as if I stepped through something I can only describe as "electric jelly." :-o The air wobbled and tingled. I tried stepping back through it again... but it was gone. Nothing.
So, this year on Standing Women's day I finally went back and stood with some very special "standing stones" on a double anniversary. You see, not only was I last there roughly seven years before, but my husband's father was buried there roughly thirty years ago in early May. Hubby went looking for the grave, while I stood, but couldn't find it. He remembered the area, but had a feeling the stone had been renewed by another family member and couldn't remember what the new stone looked like.
He was busy going up and down the rows and rows of graves when I saw something - a man in a white shirt standing by a grave in the distance. Long seeve shirt with the sleeves rolled up to just below his elbows, grey trousers... It was only a picture in my mind and I dismissed it as just that - my imagination, but the feeling of being pulled to that grave was so intense I gave up trying to stand and went across to where I'd "seen" the man. It was way over in another area of the graveyard, far away from where my husband was looking for his dad, but it was a nice day and I enjoyed the walk.
I came down the path... looked down at the grave where the man had been standing... and there was the name of my husband's father.
Two anniversaries, two people standing - one passed standing to be remembered and one present standing for the future. All in all I'd call that a pretty amazing day.