Last weekend, the night before the ashes of a friend of ours were scattered in a park, my daughter said she woke after a nightmare about flesh-eating vampires only to slip quietly into the most wonderful dream she'd ever had.
It was already Sunday, she said, and she had gone to the park for the scattering of the ashes. Nobody else she knew was there – none of her family, none of our friends – but for some reason this didn’t worry her. On all sides of the park there were walls of greenery covered in flowers. The flowered walls were high and thick, like the walls of buildings, and soon she saw that there were many of them ranged in rows all around her. She wanted to stay in that park forever – so happy did she feel in it – so free, despite the walls, but she woke up and all she could do now was hope to draw or paint or describe in words or one day, even, try to recreate that park with its tall and flowering walls.
Needless to say the park we went to was nothing like the one in her dream. My daughter said she couldn’t even remember the person whose ashes were being scattered – a person who had gone back to the country of her birth and died there after only a couple of years – a person remarkable for her intelligence and the generosity of her nature – a person who’d had neither children nor animals; who, with her partner, had kept several gardens but had always moved away.