‘The living and the dead, the awake and the sleeping, the young and the old are all one and the same’ ~ Heraclitus

As Heraclitus shows, the idea of the Circle of Life is nothing new. Whilst we might all instantly whip back in our brains to the Elton John bop from the Lion King film, the Circle of Life is something which has existed before us, and will exist after us. Heraclitus sums up the idea perfectly in his famous quote, showing that no matter how we have lived, one thing is certain: we will all leave the earth one day.

However, in the 21st century we all seem to still struggle with this concept. Death is a constant, but we can live in order to meet it well. And no where does this message shine through clearer than Arnos Vale, in Bristol. Fundamentally, it is a cemetery. However, they are redefining the meaning of death, since out of their burial place they are hosting weddings, ceremonies and even forest schools for children.

Arnos Vale cemetery

 

Whilst this might seem a little strange to many in today’s society, the idea that they are nurturing major life events in the backdrop of the legacy and history of those who have passed on is really rather poetic. There’s something so special about celebrating a milestone where so many others have, and rather than treating burials as something sad, they’re turning the idea into something contemplative and commemorative on a person’s life. They make an effort to remember, but not just to dwell on the sombre nature of death, but to celebrate the happy moments of life too.

And therefore, this reminds one and all that, like Heraclitus said way back in 500 BC, we are all the same, no matter what life course we are on. 

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