When first I visited the little Ameliasburgh cemetery where Al Purdy was buried in 2000,
I was intrigued by the items - stones, coins, a brass turtle, a pipe of dubious origins - left on the gravestone.
I saw them as gifts, "love ya Al" kinds of things left behind by people strangely moved by this unconventional man come to (but for the wonderfully wrought stone inscribed "Voice of the Land" on its black granite spine) a conventional end, resting beneath trees beside a millpond in a little country cemetery.
The blog A Grave Interest gave a welcome insight into the tradition of leaving stones on a grave. When next I go, I will leave a small round stone from Neys Provincial Park on Lake Superior, a trace of the dramatic volcanic history of that place, now so peaceful. Seems to fit.
|"This is where I came to |
where my body left its body
and its spirit stayed
in its spirit home"
|stones on the stone|
|Grave of Owen Roblin - this quiet spot was once the site|
of the even earlier milling complex of James B. Way, c.1829
|Thanks to Cruikshank and Stokes' 'The Settler's Dream' for the photo|