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Tidying up offerings
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Re: Tidying up offerings
May 21, 2010, 07:49
cerrig wrote:
Last summer,about this time, I went to Maen Llia in the Brecon Beacons. On approaching the stone I could see some whitish grains spread about it. I at first thought it was the remains of someone's barbecue discarded on the ground, which I didn't like at all, as I hate the sight of litter of any kind.
I walked around to the other side of the stone and there I saw the origin of the grains.
At the base of Maen Llia,a 12 feet tall monolith, was a heart shaped pebble, about the size of a tea plate. On the pebble was a message from a wife to her husband, telling of their love for the stone and for each other.
The whitish grains were this gents ashes. He had passed some time before and this was his wifes final tribute to him. It was quite a sobering and touching thing to come across.
This pebble stayed in it's spot mostly untouched for months, except for occasional gifts joining it, mostly flowers and even a religious pamphlet which survived for a surprisingly long time, given the rain and wind that is never far away here.
As I was studying Maen Llia and it's surroundings last summer, I kept an eye on the pebble, and I often saw people coming and going. They all noticed this pebble, and I never saw anyone show it anything but respect.
A couple of months after it showed up, I was there once more, and once again Maen Llia was surrounded by whitish grains. I went around the back of the stone and saw 2 pebbles now, side by side. The second pebble was for the gent's wife. It was put there by someone who must have been a great friend, possibly at the request of the wife, as it too had it's own dedication on it.
The 2 pebbles stayed there for a while, then one day they were gone. I don't know where they went,but I hope they were removed legitimately and respectfully.
Oddly, I grew quite fond of them and the way they had become a part of the stones history for a while. It was a bit of a shock when they dissapeared. But I was glad when they went in the end. I think their job had been done, and to stay any longer would have inevitably led to them becoming someones souvenirs, which was an end these epitaphs didn't deserve.
So in my opinion offerings are fine, I will leave flowers or more usually bird feed. But I don't think an offering should be around for too long, even when theres a story to go with it.

Cerrig, I think everyone here is in agreement on this subject so there is no need to add anything further. I just wanted to comment on your post - which I found quite moving. I have been spending some time with a friend who recently lost their beloved life partner ... grief is sometimes tangible and the only way to help is to listen. I went with my friend and stayed in the shadow of a tree while they gently laid bluebells from their garden on the loved one's grave, an action no so very far removed from the one in your story; one of love and loss - beautifully told. Thanks for telling it.
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