While GB was showing me the sights around Napier we came across a church and graveyard at a crossroads that he thought I might find interesting. Of course, he whetted my appetite by telling me there was a story behind this church - but he couldn't recall what it was. In the main part of the graveyard, in the front of the church, all the graves were surrounded by these little wrought iron fences that I've never seen here in the north.
I don't think I've ever before seen seats in a graveyard. They appealed to me and I wonder why there aren't more of them? The presence of those seats told me more than the flowers or the monuments.
Maybe I'm a bit odd but I do love wandering around graveyards and wondering at the stories that rest therein.
It's unusual, in my experience, to come across a headstone that really tells a story as this one did.
This was very obviously a Maori cemetry. At the side gate was a little stand with 6 or 8 plastic bottles holding water. It's a Maori custom to splash yourself with water when leaving a graveyard to remove the tapu (sacredness or the forbidden). My simple interpretation is it's to remove any evil spirit that may be lurking.
Just as we were about to get in the car and drive away, GB drew my attention to a little shrine on the opposite side of the road.
And there she was was, encased in glass, behind a gated fence with a simple bench in front of her, Mary of the Crossroads. No graffiti, beautifully maintained.