And thus do souls of children weep
For stories they shall never tell
And secrets they shall never keep.
I debated about sharing this bit, but I felt that sharing it would be better than keeping the idea all to myself. You see, three days ago the above bit of verse crawled into my head and stayed there. Today a broken ring sent me to the graveyard and I realized what it was for (both verse and ring).
The ring shattered into 4 fairly even pieces. It was a hematite ring I wore in honor of Baron that I only ever took off for really nasty jobs. I cracked it on a kiln shelf a few months ago but still wore it. I had been planning on going to the graveyard but I wanted to give Baron and the assorted dead folks something, and my go-to bakery was closed. So, when my ring broke I saw OFFERING in big shiny neon letters. Most of it now resides in the graveyard (if/when I ever move, the last bit will go there as well unless I get told differently)- one to the spirit-door hiding in the crack, one in the Chateau poked through the door, and one in the Queen as She dives Underground.
On my way back, I saw a familiar bunch of graves. If you’re just walking by, you may not realize what you’re looking at… until you start reading dates. The groundskeepers call it Babyland for a reason- far far too many headstones have no separate birth and death dates. Just one single day. Those that have different dates are rarely over 10 years old. Most are 5 or less.
Since I had nothing physical to give them this time (last time I was there I cleaned up palm fronds and dead branches on the graves) I gave them a story. It was my own slightly-cobbled-together version of Beauty and the Beast, featuring a music box I own. Once the story was finished, I promised the next time I came I would bring it, so they could see that it was true and hear the music that Beauty did.
Now, I am very very spirit-blind. I can’t see or hear or sense any sort of spirit very well at all. But once the story (frequent pauses, bad acting, and mild scrambling for the next bit aside) was finished, I felt at peace. So very very at peace. (And the ant nest I was sitting on apparently liked the story too, because they didn’t bite me at all.) So, the next time you’re in a graveyard and you see a child’s grave, stop a bit. Invite all the children to come listen, especially those who never had a chance to have someone tell them a story. Who never got tucked in with a soft voice murmuring a fairy tale to them. Tell them a story and spend a little time with them. I think they’ll appreciate it a lot.