At the crossing of my street with a busy main road is a memorial to a young man. The main road narrows from three lanes to two and a turn off. Across from the turn off are massive poles holding up the traffic lights. The young man had missed the turn off and plowed into the pole.
At the bottom of the pole is a crosswalk where two crosses and one urn of flowers stand. Through the years since the young man’s death, this memorial has been maintained by his friends. The Department of Highways comes and clears it out every so often. Then, his friends would return and erect new crosses with his name and death date. Every year, they hold a vigil and place candles around the crosses and flowers. Meanwhile, someone replaces the dead flowers in the urns with fresh ones, throughout the years.
Since the beginning, I have witness the slow transformation of the spirit of this young man from one of the Dead to a Lar (Guardian Spirit). He has become the Lar Compitales, the Guardian of The Crossroads for these streets. His body is buried elsewhere but his spirit remained where he died.
When I cross, I pay my respects to Him as the Lar, and thank Him for protecting all pedestrians. This includes the children crossing back and forth to various nearby schools. Also, since becoming a Lar, He has protected the drivers as well. There has been no fatal accidents, since his death. I thank this Lar for doing his duty.
I thank his friends who remember him, and keep his memorial. Through their devotion, they elevated one of the Dead. Without their memorial, he would have been a lost spirit, a lemur. As for me, I am grateful them both. As I go, I am reminded of my duty to maintain my devotion to my Dead and the Dead of the Land.