This morning I woke too late to watch the masses of cars arrive in my tiny town, to watch the thousands of people pour out of their cars & congregate in the town square, in preparation of the cue to walk to God’s Acre, the Moravian burial ground, and watch the sun rise over the thousands of flat white headstones.
When I woke the sun’s rays had already crested and the moon was bright and yellow in the south-western sky. I could hear the 300 brass instruments muffled & mournful high on the wind. I made my way over.
I’ve never been a religious person. Even at five I was a student not a congregant, filled with questions and skepticism, more doubtful than faith filled. I didn’t anticipate feeling anything at the service, not even awe at the sight of thousands of people singing hymns in the frost-covered morning air not the thousands of newly cut flowers gracing some of the stones not the hundreds of brass musicians blowing heat into their cold instruments those instruments filling the air with guided sound. 6:59 AM and the town was alive as it will only be again at the next Easter.
How had I overslept? How had I not? I showed up as a writer. To witness. To observe. To listen. To take it in. I showed up in the end at the near end because I didn’t care to spend another sunrise alone.
Here is a poem by Amanda Ngoho on belonging & place & space.