For today’s flower crown Friday, my sister and I went down to the beach and used the native grasses and bushes to weave a special flower crown. This one was gathered from the flora growing around a memorial stone for a young man that went missing when I was a child. We left the crown as a wreath, to tell the family we are still thinking of them.
When I was a kid my Dad would take us kids past this particular spot, to spend a moment thinking about the Conduit family. The Conduits were family friends (I’ve known them my whole life) and one of the sons was working for my Dad when he went missing off the beach by the town of Portarlington.
Dad would tell us how Luke went out with two of his brothers to go fishing and a sudden storm came up, capsizing the boat. They were about a kilometre off shore, and after some time they realised no one was going to come by. Luke was the strongest swimmer and made the decision to swim to shore to get help. Dad said his brothers allowed him to go on the condition that he wore his life jacket. Luke set off for shore and some time later a boat came past and picked his brothers up. They immediately asked after Luke, but the people on the boat had not heard of him. Dad said the lifejacket was all they ever found.
I can’t imagine how horrible it must have been to lose Luke. It really hurt so many of the people in the circle of friends around the family. My Dad and one of Dad’s best mates walked along the beach for kilometres, looking for any sign. They even trespassed on a military facility in their earnest to search for any sign of Luke. Dad would take us back to the point and tell us this story, and we would look out at the water like every year we were joining the search.
It was so many years ago, but I bet it still feels like yesterday to them. So when we made this flower crown, we chose this particular strip of beach so we could leave something we made for the family. For Luke’s sister Felicity who I know best of Luke’s siblings. Something to say we still remember. A little wreath of love for those left behind.
On Luke’s memorial is a beautiful phrase: “greater love has no man than this, that he lays down his life for his brothers.”
Skirt: Lazybones c/o Lark. Visit them in store in Ballarat to try on their Lazybones range.
Blouse: Book of Deer from Modcloth
Shoes: BAIT Footwear via Modcloth
Photos: Goldfields Girl
Love. - L