Friday, 11 May 2018

Encountering The Unexpected

         It was tranquil all around, with nary a sound. Just perfect for a snooze. So I reclined the front passenger seat of our rented Nissan X-Trail and closed my eyes.
     Suddenly, I heard some soft music in the distance. My ears pricked up. It couldn't be...there shouldn't be. I sat up and looked around. The music had stopped and I couldn't see anyone or anything. It was as quiet as a graveyard should be. I was, after all, sitting in the car at the southern end of a cemetery in Narooma, New South Wales.
Eternal resting places in Narooma

     Strangely, I wasn't spooked. On the contrary, I was certain that I must have drifted off to sleep and had imagined hearing the music in my dream. So I lay down again and rested.
     And then, I heard it again!
     I bounced up and my eyes combed the entire cemetery to find the source of the music. It must be a funeral procession...hearse... casket...mourners...where are you? But there was nothing, I could see nothing. It was only me, the car and the tombstones.
     And then, I saw it!

     To be more accurate, I saw him!

     It was a lone bagpiper ambling in the far corner of the cemetery. And he proceeded to play a haunting melody.
A fine gentleman he was, and he has Scottish ancestry too!

     I blinked hard. But the figure was truly there and was not a figment of my imagination. I peered through the windscreen and observed that he was wearing a cast on his right leg. 
     My fertile mind whirled into motion. The romantic in me speculated that he and his wife must have been involved in a recent accident, which resulted in her untimely death and left him to recover from a broken leg. He must be missing her sorely. Thus, he had come to visit her resting place and to play her favourite tunes. 
     I continued to observe him from afar and to enjoy the bagpipe music. But the nosy parker in me had to have an answer. 
     Quelling a remote possibility that he was a deranged killer, I left the security of the car and walked across the cemetery to approach him. He was surprised to see me and I quickly introduced myself before politely enquiring why he was playing the bagpipes all alone in a cemetery.
     "I come here to play because if I did it at home, the missus would have a fit and kick me out of the house!" he answered.
     His reply burst my bubble but I complimented him on his playing. We had a brief chat. Then I asked if I could video him playing the bagpipes and he obliged with a short rendition of "Amazing Grace".
     Despite not being the stuff of a hopeless romantic, this encounter at the cemetery in Narooma was definitely one of the highlights of my 2017 New South Wales trip.

     If you are wondering what was I doing all alone at the cemetery, well, I was not entirely alone, to begin with. Hubby was pursuing the famous Glasshouse Rocks. To access them, we had to drive to the cemetery and park at the southern end. From there, we trekked through the forest. There was a fairly steep climb down the cliff to reach the beach. With my dodgy knees, I decided it would be more prudent to take some photos of the ancient geological formations from the cliff and then trudge back to the safety of the car to await adventurous hubby's return.
Beautiful shot of Glasshouse Rocks taken from the Internet
      I may not have gotten some great shots of the Glasshouse Rocks but I gained an unexpected encounter that will leave indelible memories.


  1. That Scot is funny. Played bag pipe in cemetery to avoid wife's complaint. Haha. At least he could entertain those in cemetery and beyond.

    1. Apparently, he goes there to play ever so often. My Airbnb hostess in another town has also heard of him!

  2. I hope those in the cemetery are not disturbed from their sleep by his kind of music! Lol!

    1. I'd like to think that they enjoy his music.