Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Green Cans of Life

I was visiting a graveyard in Nürnberg and the gardener was very active indeed. She had assembled these watering cans into a rather fetching design and so I made my contribution to her art. Watering cans are always about gardens and gardens are paradise on earth. Even - or maybe especially - when they are graveyards. Graveyards have the symbolism of tombs and are female in principle, offering safety, growth and comfort. It was certainly so in this graveyard, a perfectly tended garden with many volunteers. Here in this place, the body changes - the life and death cycle contained within the bounding walls of the garden. Watering cans these days are usually plastic and almost always green, the colour of hope, of pastures and eternal youth. There was something ordered about the watering cans that I really liked. They were poised and ready to water the grass, flowers and the vases placed on graves. Indeed, the watering can is something like a vase, always open to the heavens and carrying the elixir of life - in this case water. We place flowers on graves as remembrance but in so doing we salute memory of a life. Without water, life does not continue - so water something is very precious, a natural, caring act that belongs to humanity.