Would You Lay With Me In A Field Of Flowers And Stone

St Genny's in Cornwall

While out on a drive yesterday, John took a detour and quite by accident we ended up at a place we might have never found had we not been up for a little adventure.

St Genny’s Church

Photo by John Winchurch

In a clear departure from my normal behavior, I did not take any photographs of the inside of St. Genny’s, but John got a nice one from the back center aisle.

I followed the path to the right of St Genny’s around the corner to see the surprise below.

Walking between the church and a stand of trees shading several rows of ornate gravestones, I stepped out into a place that took my breath away with the perfect beauty of all.

John had gone inside the church looking for me and after coming around the corner, caught up with me here on this hill.

He walked with a stride and purpose that I’ve seen before as he came straight up the hill to the place where I was standing. Reaching for me without saying a word, he kissed me with the kind of kiss that felt like a sweet benediction in what seemed like a holy place of rest. I thought nowhere could a woman feel more loved than I did then and we stood quietly¬†together for another minute admiring the view from this field of flowers and stone.

As we turned to walk on I asked him if he’d seen a John and Elizabeth yet, because I know from experience now that there’s always a John and Elizabeth lying together in every churchyard we visit and no sooner did I finish the question then I saw two stones next to where he was standing. I smiled as I noticed that he happened to be standing in front of John the husband’s gravestone while I was closest to Elizabeth’s.

I would have photographed him where he stood, but sometimes I get a bit superstitious about photographing the living in a memorial for the dead. Except for wedding day photographs like ours below.

Elizabeth Harper & John Winchurch - Wedding Day - 2-2-2009

After seeing the graves of John and Elizabeth Marshall, we climbed to the top corner of the churchyard for a longer view …

… and noticed this sweet little bench tucked up near the wall.

It was a perfect place to sit and think.

There were wild flowers growing everywhere and not so much in the way of cut flowers,

… but I did find this tender message of love and memory on one grave.

It you’d like to know more about St Genny’s church, I found a wonderful blog post from a woman named Jan Windle who spent several days nearby and did some interesting research complete with detailed photographs. It’s well worth a look.

*Note that she speaks first about St Juliot, a church associated with Thomas Hardy before going on to St Genny’s.