Freedom and Remembrance

Anzac Day - May Day - placenta day - Autumn equinox.

Yesterday I went to the Dawn Service, my first time. I stood with Mary, my (Dad's) cousin and wife of a prisoner of war from World War Two. A woman who has supported her husband through nightmares of his time in the war. A woman who has had to understand that support is often understanding that some things are beyond understanding. We watched the march and I felt very proud of the many young people marching, standing to attention in the cold.

There was talk of fighting for freedom. I thought of the many fights for freedom, including those of the conscientious objectors. They also fought for freedom. There is a good blogpost on some of the battles they fought here.

Afterwards, back at the RSA, I said hello to people of all ages, saw the meaning Anzac Day has for current soldiers, for relatives of servicemen and women, for many other people in our community. I stood in the wrong queue for a cup of tea for ages until I realised that I didn't want rum in mine. Rum at 7.30am is too early for me.

After breakfast, I collected Mary again and we went to the cemetery for a brief commemoration and then spent a long time visiting the graves of Lou and his brothers. Mary and Lou were married for almost sixty years, a long period of love, work and adoration of which I am in awe.

Last year on Anzac Day we buried the placentas of our children and planted cabbage trees above them. The children stomped on Fionn's one and it had to be replanted, but even so, they have grown a lot in just twelve months.

These are all things which tie me to this land, to our local community.

The next special day on our calendar is May Day. We'll be up at Blackball this coming Saturday discussing the future in a world reeling from the failure of neoliberal economics, workshopping the Blackball history of working class history museum and in the evening watching a performance of a new play from Paul Maunder.

Somewhere during this week, if my check of dates proves correct, we will cut up some pumpkins into jack-o-lanterns and celebrate the Autumn equinox.


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