Short stories are at the heart of why Phyllis loves to write. Her father left her a legacy of the art of storytelling.
The Old Stone Bench
Hello and welcome to this old cemetery. My name is Andrew. I will give you some history on this stone bench and rose garden. Hundreds of people have sat upon this old stone bench. The seat is worn smooth from so many years of mourners spending time there in this old cemetery. The bench is almost 200 years old.
So many graves surround that bench. The souls here lie in peaceful rest, for they once sat upon the bench as they mourned for their loved ones who had gone on before. Now they no longer mourn, for they are reunited with the ones they so grieved for. The tears shed here lingered awhile on the stone bench and slowly faded away, but memories have been embedded within the stone, memories which can be felt when one sits there. The emotions are deep and lasting. If one sits there long enough in silence, the emotions spiritually felt are overwhelming. Is the bench haunted by those who once mourned and now lay buried nearby? No, it is not haunted. This bench has witnessed so much love through tears that it helps the mourners. The tears were shed with love, and tears are cleansing, so they heal. The bench absorbed this blessed healing.
Often an elderly lonesome person would come and sit a spell, remembering the loved ones they buried many years earlier. They found peace as they sat there, listening to the song birds in the trees and the humming of bees buzzing around flowers which had been lovingly placed on graves.
Then the old man or woman would go stroll through the Rose Garden not far away. As they walked along enjoying the fragrant roses, admiring the beauty, they often met with another lonely person. Lasting friendships and even some wedded unions have been inspired by the stone bench and the rose garden.
The Rose Garden
The gardener who planned the Rose Garden chose just four colors of rose bushes. He arranged them in four triangle sections. Each section is symbolic of an emotion or meaning. The yellow is for friendship. The red is for passion. The pink is for love. The white is for purity and peace.
The four sections surround a lovely fountain with Angels in the center, pouring healing waters from their pitchers. There are four bird baths around the fountain, one at each point of the rose triangles. The birds splash and sing their joy all day long. Welcoming park benches are throughout the garden. It is a lovely place. I, myself, often stroll round the Rose Garden in memory of my loved ones. I always come away filled with love and peace.
The gardener is long gone to his resting place. His great-grandson now takes care of the Rose Garden, fountain and bird baths. Even though the cemetery has long been abandoned and forgotten by many, the Rose Garden is as lovely as ever. Visitors still come by on Sunday afternoons to enjoy the peaceful atmosphere.
The stone bench was lovingly carved and sculpted by a young man, who also carved the Angels in the fountain. His wife designed the sculptures and he carved them. The sculptor was the first to sit on the bench and grieve when his beloved wife died in childbirth. Their son did not survive the first hour of life. For many years the sculptor sat there every day of his life till he, too, passed on. He now lies just over there beside his wife and child.
I love this old stone bench and the Rose Garden for they healed me and gave me peace. The stone bench was carved with love and prayers for all those who would use it. The sculptor's wife watched it taking shape, often caressing it with her lovely hands, imbuing it with love and healing prayers.
I know all this to be true, because I was Andre the sculptor in that lifetime.
© 2017 Phyllis Doyle Burns