We have a lot of beautiful churches in my neighbourhood. This is the Hunter Baillie Memorial Presbyterian Church round the corner from my house. Its spire is quite striking against the skyline.
I love the detail in the stonework, the stained glass windows and the solid, impenetrable wrought iron fences and gates.
I don’t attend this church but I walk by it almost every day.
And every day I see the same thing.
Sometimes it’s white. Sometimes it’s red. Sometimes it’s yellow. But there is always a flower at the gate.
Poised, perched, placed with care. Not a bunch, no stalks, no leaves, just a single bloom.
Is it like an orange placed on a Buddhist altar?
A tribute to a family member who has passed?
Is it an offering to the gods?
Is it a random thing that one person did and then someone else saw it and thought they would do it? And then another and another?
Or is it a simple act of faith? Is it someone saying: I believe?
I can’t say, but even on rainy days, bleak days, dusty days full of people griping at the smallest of things the flower is there.
I like to think that most of all it is a little sign of hope, that the shadows, the sadness that can freeze our hearts hasn’t yet consumed us all.
I like to think it is a prayer for everyone who passes.