I have driven past this old cemetery thousands of times. I always glance over and take a peek. Not sure what I think I’m going to see. It’s always empty. I can honestly say in all my years living near this small spot of land, I have never seen a single person visiting, leaving flowers … nothing.
I have stopped twice now to take photos. I hope I’m not the only visitor.
I wish I could sit down in the cool, crisp autumn grass and whisper to the stones. I wish I could hear their stories. I wish I knew who these people were. How they died. Do they still have family around these woods? What did this area look like when they were buried here? Obviously the houses next to the cemetery weren’t there. So what was? Woods? Most likely.
I have a lot of questions.
This time I took my kids. Stopped on a whim when passing this past weekend. Maybe it was the light in the trees. The golden leaves falling. I don’t know. I was moved. We stopped and I allowed them to walk around while I snapped a few photos. The kids were quiet, which is rare. They asked lots of questions.
Why did he die?
How old was she?
Are there any babies here?
Why are the stones falling apart?
Why is this stone on its side? And it has no writing on it…
I don’t know WHO they get their inquisitive minds from at all…
It’s difficult to explain to children how death works. Or how long ago 1825 really is. And yet, how recent it really is in the grand scheme of things.
Middle Man says they make gravestones better now than they did in 1825. I think he’s right.
It’s a stunning place. It’s beautiful in all its unevenness. It’s haphazard. It’s broken. It’s full of love and families and history. It has a story.
Just like life.