Inheritance :: possession by transmission from past generations
Chambers Concise Dictionary
I don't usually wear gloves when I garden, but I really should do. Our flowerbeds are full of pieces of glass. These are the seven pieces I found from digging one small wallflower-sized hole this morning.
The glass is there because roughly seventy years ago, during The Blitz, a bomb was dropped on the terraced street behind ours, badly damaging about twenty houses. Their windows were all blown out, and they were so structurally unsound that they later had to be pulled down. There is now a low block of flats, built in the late 1950s, behind our house rather than the Victorian terraced street that used to be there.
All along our street, the back gardens are still full of shards of glass from the windows that exploded that night. As the worms rummage through the soil, the glass gets worked up to the surface.
I never find these pieces of glass without thinking about the people who lost their homes that night. We don't live in the part of the East End that was really heavily damaged - we are not near the docks or the gasworks - but the people who lived in our house then must have had nightly air raids during the Blitz and would have been terrified to hear the bomb drop so close. Then perhaps they would have been relieved - and maybe have felt a little guilty for being so fortunate - that it had fallen a street away from them and that their own house - our house now - was safe.