Visiting the local cemetery

And we do have a fine one! I go there once in awhile if I only have time for a short walk. Spring and fall are especially interesting, although it’s nice there any time of the year.

Gateways like these are intriguing; they tend to be so narrow that you know they were designed for horse and carriage days, not these days of big trucks, vans and such. They have a side entrance for people on foot or riding horseback, guiding the funereal carriage horses (six of them, I suppose, and black!), no doubt.

A few panoramic scenes (please click for the full size view, if you don’t mind a huge vista!):

Here is that monument I meant to get better pictures of. The lady must be an angel, and the anchor (?) is certainly a Christian symbol. But in the closer images you can see she is a bit worse for wear, moss or something is all over her arms, face, robe, everywhere. A hundred and forty or so years is a long time to stand there pointing the way to heaven…

A few random (though carefully planned) shots:

I never noticed this dove carving before. It’s on a really old stone that fell over and was never replaced. Something sad about this little bird, it looks mournful, almost like it’s hiding its face.

bas relief dove image on a very old tombstone

There are two other pointing-hand images, somewhat similar to this, in this collection (can you find them??). Of course they are mute signs indicating the deceased was heading for heaven. But somehow this one, in particular, has a ghostly feeling…slightly creepy.

bas relief hand image on a very old tombstone

When death comes / Like an iceberg between the shoulder blades, // I want to step through the door full of curiosity, wondering: / What is it going to be like, that cottage of darkness? // And therefore I look upon everything / as a brotherhood and a sisterhood, / and I look upon time as no more than an idea, / and I consider eternity as another possibility, // and I think of each life as a flower, as common / as a field daisy, and as singular, // and each name as a comfortable music in the mouth / tending as all music does, toward silence, // and each body a lion of courage, and something / precious to the earth… // When it is over, I don’t want to wonder / if I have made of my life something particular, and real. / I don’t want to find myself sighing and frightened, / or full of argument. // I don’t want to end up simply having visited this world. // ~ Mary Oliver


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