I understand why cemeteries are usually thought of as unhappy places- it is, after all, a place full of the dead, and death is often an unhappy concept. Personally, I have never had an aversion to cemeteries. I find them to be quiet and peaceful, and usually very pretty. I don't really have any loved ones buried in cemeteries, so that feeling of sadness and loss do not accompany me when I go strolling among the final resting place of others.
I'm not sure when my fondness of cemeteries began. I know my mother always found refuge walking through them and I probably picked it up from her. Also, adjacent to my parents property in Redwood Valley is a small Pomo cemetery. It is modest and usually quite overgrown with weeds and wildflowers, and it has always been a part of the general landscape of home- not something spooky or foreboding.
|Pomo grave with abalone shells|
And if having my home next door to a cemetery wasn't enough to get me comfortable with the idea, my high school was across the street from the only cemetery in town. It too is a pretty resting place- with a few winding path ways and large shady trees-- a perfect place to be out of reach of the Ukiah High campus police and steal a smoke (of course, I never did such a thing). I often walked through the cemetery after class to go to meet my mother at work, since the Public Health Department was on the side opposite of the high school.
|Russian River Cemetery in Ukiah, visited by deer|
When I travel to a new place, I like to *respectfully* take a walk through their cemetery. There is a lot to be learned there! The history of a place, of its people and culture, is told in the way the dead are buried. These last few pictures are of cemeteries I have visited recently-
|Granary Cemetery in Boston|
|Old graves near the church in Boxford, England|
|Kirk-side cemetery in Fort William, Scotland|
|Old Jewish Cemetery, Prague|