Thursday, December 8, 2011

I miss my cemetery

To preface all of this, I must admit that I have a bit of a peculiar love of cemeteries.  It started when I was a little girl. Everyday we drove past the cemetery in Carson City and I would tell my mom I was going to live in the crypt.  A few years ago, I worked at heritage center that included a pioneer cemetery.

Some people find hanging out in cemeteries creepy.  For me, they are places of silence and of nature and of life.  People's stories have ended in these places. Cemeteries are also places where takes it's course and our physical remains are reincorporated into the Earth.  They tend to be quiet and oft times forgotten.  The quiet and the stillness are great places for me to think.

I spent time getting to know the inhabitants- the birds, the deer in the creek, the grave markers, the families who came to visit.  I knew the pink lilies that sprung up in the fall, reminding us that the leaves would be turning and falling soon.  The lily of the valley that poked out an old, untended family plot bloomed int he early spring.  The lichen on the stones is thick in February, but dry in July.  The almond tree planted over the grave of someone's beloved husband flowers pink in spring.  Hawthorns planted by the Irish families were a piece of their past gifted to the future.  Broken headstones and missing statues remind us that even the dead need care and protection.

It's been awhile since I've been able to spend time at this place.  I haven't worked there in over five years.  But sometimes, I remember how it felt to wander among the dead, thinking and meditating.  The peace was pervasive.  Long after I returned home, I could still feel the quiet within me.  Maybe it's time for a visit before the rainy season starts.

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