Tuesday, March 9, 2010

A few Miles From my House

The little cemetery sits on a hill, tucked off the main road as if it’s shyly hiding from the gaze of passersby. If you didn’t know it was there, you might not notice it. It rests in the shade of tall oaks and scrub pine, with small streams of sunlight boring through the branches and kissing the tops of stones. Flowers withered by winter's wrath dot the landscape.

The cemetery is old. Many of the dead resting there saw the turn of the last century, fought in the Spanish American War or lived through the Great Depression. Some newer stones mark the graves of the recent dead. A baby. A soldier. A mother. Someone’s grandfather. It is a quiet place, within a stone’s throw of a barn and a few old farmhouses.

Barbed wire keeps out the horses and makes a rambling, sharp boundary along the cemetery’s perimeter.

It’s a humble place, never calling attention to itself and yet, boldly displaying the life and love of the people buried there. There are markers with pictures of the dead. A stone adorned with a weathered floral arrangement and a handwritten note with faded sentiments. The words are so personal they make you turn away, embarrassed to have seen the inside of someone’s grieving heart. There are markers made of hand poured and lettered concrete and others made with even simpler materials.

They speak to the poverty of those left behind. And they make you sad.

Everywhere you look; there are personal touches, some that leave you wondering why they were placed there.

And for whom.

It is in that little country graveyard that I sat and watched the sun slide into the horizon and wondered about the people who walked this land before I did and the people left behind who tend to their memory. It is a quiet place, within a stone’s throw of serenity.


The Church Lady said...

Nicely written, Hula. And the photos help tell your story.

The view out of my office window is an old cemetery that dates back to 1753. The old grave stones are barely legible.

Trailboss said...

We have so many cemaeteries like that around our town. I have done the same thing as far as wondering who walked the land 150 yrs ago.

Great shots and I can see you are LOVIN your new lens.

Trailboss said...

Apparently it is too early for me to spell correctly. I'm going back to bed. Oh shoot...I can't. I'm at work. **sigh**

Janis said...

I am so interested in old graveyards...each headstone tells a story. Those are great photos and you tell a great story. I so want my new camera..but have to wait a bit..DARN! Last nite I wanted to do Wordless Wed.then realized..I have no new photos to show..Gotta get out there with my camera and look for something good.