The barn was packed with people, from babies to Great Grannies. A harpist also from the village played amazing angelic music.Thomas' cocoon was in the centre of the room.We sat, looking at his body, albeit covered in layers of felt, as family and friends talked about how he had touched their lives. Babies and children wailed or whizzed around on the shiny wooden floor, including Thomas' lovely daughter who wandered around, smiled at the crowd and asked a few people for "Juice please". One child asked "Is that his bag? Is he in that bag?",much to the parent's blushes. I was similarly thinking how bizarre that the person I knew was in there, I am sure there were many thinking the same. I have felt his spirit strong for weeks since his death but now there was a quietness, a body thats all and the love for the spirit that used to be there.It was good to laugh and cry with a common bond of respect and love for this man who it seemed never turned people away was open and above all kind.Open and kind and loving he had drawn all these people to him.Quite something.
We left the barn and processed through the village led by Morris Dancers with blackened out faces.We were a motley crew, bedecked in forest colours, warmed by roaring torches aflame. A beat was sounded with the wooden staffs of the dancers and we followed. A few people came out of the offices, I thought they were just having a cigarette then realised with a bit of self reproach that it was a mark of respect.
Cleansed by burning sage and drawn onwards by a clarinet. We slipped on through the mud into the field.
Someone commented that his burial would be added to the stories of the past and it felt like that.Treading familiar routes of our ancestors where death was not sanitised and distant but right there in your face for you to wonder at and deal with.Where loved ones, not religious strangers spoke highly of the deeds of a person that they knew and missed and music played from the heart not a cd player was the lament of all. Simple and beautiful craft clothed him and would return him easily to the earth, not a box of hardwood that quite literally would cost the earth.His view is of rough moorland fields and trees, and he will have children play next to his grave, learning how to track animals that he cherished. I love this place, bubble or not, I am glad to be a part of it. Fly well Thomasxxx