Story by Jill DesForges
I have been writing creatively for a number of years. For a few years I was a member of a women’s writing group and was inspired by a poem called ‘Round Here.’ This lead me to write a piece about our wonderful Burngreave Cemetery and living round here. There are gifts every day during walks with my dog and observations of our community. I just hope to record these with “heart” and enjoy reading to others and raising a few laughs.
Excerpts from ‘Fish Eye Lens: Pot of Gold’
As we step through the cemetery gate, I reflect on changes, how communities evolve and adapt.
Maisie hurtles towards another dog owner, ears back, tail twirling like a helicopter in her enthusiasm. The other dog brings me a very soggy, sticky ball, which I decline.
Magic happens here. Sometimes on the greyest dreary day, miraculous sunbeams can suddenly light up the trees around us. Once I saw the end of a rainbow bright against a tree and headstones. I took a picture on my mobile, but was unable to capture it so clearly.
One evening I heard the most beautiful choir singing in the distance. Puzzled, I tried to find its harmonic source and eventually came upon a young Roma couple enjoying each other’s voices and the space to sing out freely. I found myself following them. Every now and again they would stop and giggle until I caught up with them. I told them their singing was beautiful and they were modest. I told them it had made me cry and that it was surprises like this that can lift you and the young man grinned. He may have thought I was bonkers, but he seemed to understand the need for surprises that lift you.
Maisie pulls me towards home. The other day she took herself out of the cemetery gate. I panicked. As I reached the gate, a young boy said “Excuse me, your dog has just got on the bus!” Thankfully the driver was patient and good humoured.
As we climbed on board to retrieve her, he said “She must have fancied a little trip”. Passengers beamed at us to exclaims of “Ahhh.” It became clear that Maisie’s adventure had also been seen by many on the street. There was relief and laughter all around.
Sometimes I feel cast adrift when I am away from my community. Here most people seem open to smile or chat and if they are not they must have a good reason and I will keep on trying.
It often appears to me that we experience more than our fair share of rainbows around here.