Monday, April 5, 2010

A Walk Through Death*

*this post is not as morbid as you think, I promise!

Because I could not stop for Death,
He kindly stopped for me;
The carriage held but just ourselves
And Immortality.

We slowly drove, he knew no haste,
And I had put away
My labor, and my leisure too,
For his civility.

We passed the school, where children strove
At recess, in the ring;
We passed the fields of gazing grain,
We passed the setting sun.

Or rather, he passed us;
The dews grew quivering and chill,
For only gossamer my gown,
My tippet only tulle.

We paused before a house that seemed
A swelling of the ground;
The roof was scarcely visible,
The cornice but a mound.

Since then 'tis centuries, and yet each
Feels shorter than the day
I first surmised the horses' heads
Were toward eternity.

-Emily Dickinson

The other day a friend and I took a walk through our local cemetery. We saw gravestones that had been there for more than a hundred years, they haven't changed much. It was interesting to do a little math and figure out how old the deceased had been, some were in their 40s, and we saw a few who lived to be 107! There was one who was 2 years, 10 months and 24 days old when he died.

There were many unmarked graves, although others were heavily marked.
The local cemetery isn't one with perfectly manicured grass, uniform placement, paved roads or even trees. It has no landscaping except what occurs naturally, the graves seem to chosen at random, there aren't really any roads other than the ones that lead to the more recent plots and each gravesite is entirely unique to the family who chose it. I wish I had had extra batteries to take more pictures.

2 comments:

Christopher And Tia said...

I've never really been to a cemetary. I've been to one, in California, where my grandparents were born, but even when I went there, I only visited the crypts.

My parents moved into a farmhouse about 5 years ago. Right next to their house, was a family cemetary. It was really small, up on a hill that was almost impossible to climb, with about 5 graves enclosed in a fenced area. It was really creepy, yet calming. We jumped the fence one Christmas and peeled away the overgrowth to look at the headstones. They were old and beautiful.

elsiee said...

I love exploring "imperfect" cemeteries and don't think they are morbid at all - love the shots you took!

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