I came upon a bench. Contemporary in its design, it had two strong hands which held the long seat at either end. The hands were huge, strong and offered a feeling of safety to the would-be sitter. On closer inspection, I discovered that the bench was a memorial. Draped over the left hand, were some dried white roses and beneath, on the bench itself, lay a postcard, stuck securely and inviting the observer to read. ‘In memory of Dylan, a kind and gentle man, who worked as a Heath Hand in these gardens and died unexpectedly in March 2020’ I tried to imagine Dylan. Dylan in overalls. Dylan stooped over. Dylan digging. Dylan weeding. Dylan’s hands. I said a silent thank you to Dylan. For making this little public garden into a beautiful safe space to pass through during these days of uncertainty, where the only thing that seems real are the statistics on loss of life due to COVID-19. I will not know if Dylan died from COVID-19 or otherwise, but I do know that his contribution to community is evident and his memory lives on and that’s wonderfully reassuring.
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