remembrance sunday, poppy day, a red poppy on every jacket to remember those fallen in battle. never to glorify war but to remind us that there can be no winners when lives are lost and families weep.
i do not often attend church, somewhere along my path, organized religion lost it's enchantment for me. i grew weary of hearing why 'we' were right and all others wrong and in need of salvation.
so ... sunday morning, i sleep in, or i read, if the weather is pleasant i enjoy the great outdoors. i find plenty to praise and much to be grateful for. my middle child, my eldest son,however, is a youth worker, a singer in the choir, a guitar player in the church band, a preacher whenever the powers that be call on him.
"ma" he said, "it's poppy sunday, why don't you come along with us. i always remember grampa on remembrance sunday ... he didn't fall in battle but he was there, taken at tobruk..."
yeah well...manipulation tends to run in our genes.
so off we went, down the bumpy farm road, slipping slightly through the muddy patches, turn left onto the a77 and follow your nose into the village. heart already rejoicing because of the sheer beauty of the day.
the church was warm, always a plus. in south africa in the winter some of our churches are so cold...well, talk about the frozen chosen. the scouts were there, flags aloft, also representatives of the coast guard in their uniforms. the service was short and sweet, plenty of hymn singing...we even got to sing the first verse of "god save the queen" towards the end of the service. coming from a republic... i do so enjoy having a queen and all the pomp and ceremony that comes with the monarchy. one elderly lady, sitting up on the balcony ... fainted. luckily the village doctor and nurse were both at the service and rushed to her aid.
now comes the fun part, we congregate in front of the church, police cars draw up and close off the a77! four pipers take their places and lead the marching scouts forward, followed by the rest of us, on foot, to the local war memorial. och aye, the skirling of the pipes, a body needs only a wee drap of scots blood to thrill to their wail!
the sun was shining, the wind was damn cold, i could have done with a warm coat. the sheer delight of following those kilted fellows... more than made up for freezing my arse off. we reached the memorial, we stood below while the minister and the wreath bearers climbed the hill to the monument. prayers were said, the poppy wreaths laid, the lead piper played the lament and then we all marched back to the church in the wake of the wonderful wail of the bagpipes.
man...what a fun way to spend my sunday morning, i think perhaps i will enjoy life in this small village, where everyone knows everyone....