We have been away for a few days. Not for a happy reason. It one of those times when you must do your best to do what is right. It was not, however, a wasted weekend. In many ways. It was a time to reconnect with family, a time to ponder our mortality, a time to weigh up what is important and dismiss the insignificant. For a little while anyway.
This might sound bizarre, but the crematorium so impressed me that I must mention it. Newly constructed, the architecture was modern without trying too hard to be radical. When I spotted the cloud pruned conifers at the entrance I was an instant convert. Mature trees had been retained, beech hedges had been planted and herbaceous borders of, from what I could discern in the depths of winter, red hot pokers, rudbeckia and asters. Inside the beautifully designed picture window looked far out into the Warwickshire countryside, a view that demanded contemplation. The welcome sunshine poured through windows clothed with sensitively placed blinds to save our squints. Unlike many such buildings, death did not rule here. As so often is desired at this sad time and seldom achieved, this building enhanced the celebration of a life much-loved.
Previously, wandering past the ancient buildings of Rugby School I spotted this tree, naked but resplendent. There is nothing like a tree to humble you.