Journal

Creation, Justice and Mercy

How is Corhaven Graveyard “Pandemic,” too?

I love puddles. On my way to volunteer with the local food pantry recently, every road into town had a puddle here or there. Plump robins and similar spring-happy birds were ruffling in the water, droplets careening off their feathers into splashes that mimicked the rains that formed the small pools. 

This reminded me of Corhaven Graveyard. I’m busy readying the monarch waystation, including preparing a small trough of water in a sand-stone mixture, where the coming butterflies and native pollinators can pause for a sip amid their day’s work. Several groups of people—those who attended the MLK, Jr Community Work Day in January and students from Cambridge, MD in February—have helped install a walking path near the informational kiosk. It’s almost finished. And, the ritual pace of weeding, planting, mulching has begun.

Puddles provide a kind of ritual for birds. And I think about time I’ve spent among Maasai communities in Narok, Kenya—how precious water is. It is common to find large vats used for water collection, pertinent to surviving times of drought in Africa. Of course, that leads my thoughts into the realm of our current situation with COVID-19. Such a pandemic forces us to pause and consider that which is vital to living. Pandemic. Currently affixed to fear and suffering, pandemic comes from the ancient Greek, πάνδημος, meaning belonging to all the people; accessible to all.

Corhaven Graveyard, then, is pandemic: accessible to all people. Open from dawn to dusk each day of the week, Corhaven Graveyard is available to you for visiting. As individuals or in groups of less than ten people, consider coming to Corhaven Graveyard for a tour. But, above all be safe. Do you want to help with some of the garden work? Contact me for tours or for help with gardening via the text-able number 434-922-2029 or corhavengraveyard@inthecoracle.org. Community Work Days will resume in May, when we sow creeping thyme seeds in the cracks of the new walkway, weed, and spread mulch on walking paths. If you are interested in this opportunity or one of the other work days, which includes a brief tour, reflection time, and a meal, visit the events page for links to sign up.

Another way to get involved is via the online Corhaven Graveyard Book Club, which is currently reading and discussing Collective Amnesia by Winchester, VA, historian Eugene DeFriest Betit. Dedicated to self-education surrounding issues of historical and modern slavery, racial injustice and white privilege, and other similar topics that lead to a better understanding for the purpose of transforming race relations, the Corhaven Graveyard Book Club meets on-line via google groups. You’re welcome to join the conversation.

There’s something else I love about puddles. They reflect portions of the world around us. Martin Luther King, Jr. wrote, “Only in the darkness can you see the stars.” For all of us, may the reflections be filled with peace, with love, and especially with hope.

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