I went to our village Baptist church this Easter Sunday evening for ‘Songs of Praise’, a joint service. The minister, Sydneysider Steve Rodda, talked about Mary Magdalene, who asked a man she took to be the gardener where they had taken Jesus’s body. It’s one of the most touching moments in all the gospels.
Afterwards I talked to Steve about Rudyard Kipling’s story, ‘The Gardener’. It’s about a woman who goes in search of her nephew’s grave in Belgium after the end of the First World War.
A late work, it may be his finest, most poignant short story – Kipling lost his own son on the Western Front, of course. I re-read it often, as I did on my return home. Really, one has to go at it twice, maybe more often, to understand it more fully.