I open the book, Jasmine Nights and Monkey Pluck: Love, Discovery, and Tea and re-discover this poem.
On a small plot of land overlooking the village there is an enchanted cemetery the grandchildren call "Monkey City." The name comes from Rudyard Kipling's Jungle Book as it reminds the children of the ancient hidden city that houses an immense treasure of golden coins, chalices, crowns, diamonds, rubies, pearls, gems beyond imagining, all guarded by thousands of monkeys.
The children run freely, fascinated with everything: a shell necklace glued to a headstone, a rhinestone heart swaying from a rose bush, the carved angels and tiny statues of the Virgin Mary, the huge marble crosses, the silk flowers. On one grave there are helium Happy Birthday balloons, a bouquet of sunflowers, a tiny stuffed bear and two white ceramic rabbits clustered around a photo of a small child.
Their grandmother sleeps in the shade of a veiled monument as they swoop and soar noiselessly like little glider planes dancing with the spirits. They revel in the silence, the heat of the sun, until tired at last they lay on their backs against a cool marble gravestone and watch the clouds form piglets and elephants in the sky.
There is a cemetery in the little town of Mendocino. It overlooks the ocean. It seems noble and right to integrate the constant movement, interaction, and change of life and death.