"but I am not here."
host to mind and soul for eighty years
It clung to me through frailty and pain,
till it could let me go.
Now it is buried in a high field
where wild flowers bloom and rabbits run. .
Around it and within, microbes divide and thrive.
In my bones, tree rootlets worm their way
into the foramina, anchor themselves.
Above, the saplings take their time
to grow and mesh into a wood
which will offer peaceful shade
when those who sang at my burial have gone.
In nearby fields, turbines turn.
panels soak up sunlight,
This is a farm where
Nature lets her power be harvested.
This is earth life in all its vigour.
My body offers itself to this place
but I am not here.
Averil Stedeford, 1932-2021
Today we buried Averil at a woodland burial site of her choosing. The service, led by her vicar but including elements of a Quaker funeral, gathered the many aspects of her life: the clinical psychiatrist, the Christian, the writer, the craftswoman, the poet, the environmentalist, the mother and the grandmother.
The sun shone. We shed tears.
It was a good day.