It was sundown as I was traveling home from a long ride. It was getting cold. I was moving fast downhill when the flickering lights of two candles caught my eye, along with the fresh tulips in the vase and recently planted annuals. All this on a thin strip of grass between the main road and the bike path.

If you die tragically along a roadside, you have two memorials. One in the church cemetery and one along the road. When spring arrives, cemeteries and grave sites are lovingly tended by family members.

I braked and turned around to take a closer look.

There is a season for the roadside dead. The snow is gone, the soil can be worked and flowers planted. The little buds on the tree have just started to push out. This roadside memorial is so lovely and well tended. A mini garden. Like many things, Germans do this well. They are good garden tenders. The accompanying photo of the teen boy in the middle of the wooden cross, Tobias. What happened here: Drunk driving, texting, driving father’s Mercedes too fast? Every Spring, this roadside attraction comes to life with its own miniature garden, so that we may know.

The dead have their spring too.