The last day we were in Charleston, South Carolina, Greg and I took a self-guided walking tour called, “Gardens, gates and graveyards” or something like that. It was an interesting ramble through old church yards and cemeteries. But when we got to the gate that led us onto the Unitarian Universalist church grounds, I was awestruck. The gate opened onto a narrow path that was well-marked but gave the impression of being over-grown. It felt like we were entering a secret garden. The path went along and eventually opened onto the most wonderful graveyard I have ever seen in my life.
All the well-tailored cemeteries we had seen that day fell away when we entered this sacred space. The green growth seemed out of control but none of it hampered our ability to walk freely on the pathways. We wandered around in awe. If I were planning to be buried, I would want to spend my eternity in a place just like this, surrounded by rambunctious nature barely able to be held back, overhung by untrimmed trees draped in Spanish Moss. And wow, what it must look like in the spring!
I don’t think it is just because I am a Unitarian that I loved this place, though it was someplace that felt comfortable to my curious mind and my untamed soul. It was just a beautiful, refreshing and surprising place. But of course, I am a Unitarian in the first place, because in my Unitarian church, my curious mind and my untamed soul are not only accepted but welcomed and cherished.
Welcome to the Garden of Remembrance.
We celebrate our companions along the way.
As members and friends of the Unitarian Church in Charleston, we commit ourselves to:
Principled actions that honor the generations that have brought us here;
Responsibility nurturing our resources, one another, and our greater community;
Making possible the spiritual journeys of our church family and generations to come.
Our diversity enhances us, our love guides us, and our convictions strengthen us.
See you in a few days. We’re off wandering again.