Mossvale Park means many things to many people. For some it’s a place to take your dog for a run, for others it’s a place to have a picnic or wedding and still others just like to enjoy the trees and gardens. Then there are those for whom it’s a place to remember. For me, Mossvale Park means many things, but it’s especially a reminder of a bygone era and our European history, which we should never forget. Originally, I was going to write ‘A Year At Mossvale Park’ from a seasonal point of view, watching it change from Summer to Autumn and then Winter to Spring. However, there was so much overlap in subject matter that I decided to base these stories more on what I observed, trying to place related subject matter into each part, rather than doing a ‘seasonal’ theme. The thing that dramatically changed my mind about the style was something I came across towards the end of August while on one of my, almost, daily visits to exercise my hounds.
Every time that I visit Mossvale Park I have my camera with me as there always seems to be something different about the place. If you look hard enough, there will be something interesting about and sometimes you don’t have to look hard at all, as the park delivers new content every day. Often it’s just small things that catch your eye, something as simple as a solitary leaf holding steadfastly onto a branch despite Winter well on its way, or a collection of leaves gathering around the base of a tree. The trees are what make Mossvale Park what it is, always offering an ever changing reflection of the world and, in their way, a connection to and celebration of both life, death and resurrection.
Then there are times when you find things closer to home, and so it was on a late August day that I came across not leaves, but a small bouquet of flowers wrapped in a note and tied with a white ribbon at the base of that same tree that I photographed in May and then later on in June. The flowers had been very purposefully laid at the base of the tree and raised many thoughts in my mind. I decided to take some photographs, but didn’t wish to disturb what someone had placed in the garden and clearly for a reason. That said, when I looked at the photographs later on at home, I couldn’t help but wonder what was in the note, though I had my suspicions.
I went back to Mossvale Park the next day and the flowers were gone, so perhaps someone had recovered the flowers or maybe the council had cleared them away. It had been a miserable night with lots of rain, so the place was pretty sodden and, to my surprise, I unexpectedly found the note and ribbon quite some distance away in the open area of the park, but without the flowers. This time I felt that I couldn’t leave things untouched and needed to find out what this was all about. The note was very water-logged and I had to work carefully to open it out without tearing it, but I managed to do so and my suspicions were proven correct. The note contained a very poignant and heartfelt story remembering a sadly missed sister. What events unfolded those years ago I don’t know, but the note was a touching reminder of what can all too easily be lost, but never forgotten.
I don’t know who left the flowers, but I now know why, and I hope that my story isn’t taken in the wrong way or a cause for further anguish by making it public. I pondered long and hard about posting this story but, in the end, I felt that something so poignant deserved to be told. We’ve all lost loved ones and each and every one of us has a different way of mourning and remembering. Mostly, we never get to see how others feel and express themselves when it comes to similar situations and that can be sad in its own way.