The other day during a trip to the Qu'Appelle valley I visited the local cemetery. It is a cemetery that has perched on the hill overlooking the valley since before anyone can remember. In the oldest part of the cemetery the brush has grown gently over some of the graves.
Have you ever heard of a story in six words? They're here, hidden by prairie grass, warmed by the summer sun - waiting.
Another marker is a monument to a man killed in the Northwest Rebellion, again over a hundred years ago. The people he may have known. The men he fought beside - now only names in a history book.
I move on to the woman who unlike the others does not have a date of birth, only a date of death 1925 and her age which is etched with strong, clear lines into the stone - 102 years. I see pride in that simple stone and I imagine her story.
How effective the simple epitaphs are at reflecting the lives of those that rest here, but even better at conveying the love that they left behind. "Cherished...", "Together Again..., "Until we meet again...", "Forever Beloved...", "Gone for a time..." Memories, sorrow, love - a lifetime is condensed into those few poignant words.
As a writer - how do you touch those emotional depths? As a reader it is a rare book that does - but one you can't put down. Those are the keepers. Read any keepers lately?