......finding a new home for lutefisk lovers.

(ok we don't love it. or even like it. but we're supposed to.)

25 October 2011

A Graveyard Fantasyland

New England may not have cornered the market on apple orchards but I think they can safely claim victory in the graveyard department (ooh spooky! yes! I planned to do this during Halloween week! it's not a coincidence!).

People of the bury-in-the-ground-next-to-your-kin-and-erect-a-stone-marker variety started dying here in the late 1600's - long before your bury-in-the-ground-stone-marker types even arrived wherever you are. So we definitely have more dead people than you. Sorry to disappoint.

As a result, there are tons of graveyards here. I pass several every day; on the way to school - graveyard. On the way to the grocery store - graveyard. On the way to the health club - graveyard, graveyard and.......graveyard. Most of them are tiny and tucked away; I call them pocket graveyards because they're hidden by woods or tucked in between houses or nestled close to the edge of a road. They're positively cute. Seriously endearing. So much so that Liam asked if we could get a little graveyard for our backyard.

It helps that the gravestones are ancient and dark and crumbling, some measuring just 6 inches high - rather than severe and monolithic. The ground is usually heaving and covered in tangled vegetation - rather than manicured. And the trees cocoon the area so that it feels like a Grimm's fairy tale instead of a made-for-TV movie about Jackie Kennedy.

Pulling over and exploring a graveyard is a fun activity any time of the year - but especially at Halloween. And Liam is surprisingly game. I don't remember ever being excited about pulling into a cemetery as a child unless it was like that Hollywood cemetery where I will someday visit Andy Gibb's grave. But he loves these tiny gravestones and he loves finding the oldest one and he gets sad and introspective when he finds one whose dates indicate that a child has died.

Some of their surfaces are too old to provide any info. A date, an identity, worn away by centuries of inclement weather and salty air. The tiny, shoebox-sized stones are the most endearing but also the most troubling; I assume these are graves for babies. But then I question my assumptions...........like the size of the stone really indicates the size of the person buried underneath? Do tall people get really tall stones?

Jagged rocks stick up out of the ground and it takes me several visits to realize that these are remnants of one-time monuments; monuments that got tired of standing up and broke off and fell to the ground. Does the person still exist under my feet if their monument no longer memorializes?

So many things to think about.........

We call this one the Taco Bell Graveyard. I wish I could say this is unusual..........but it's not.
I hope Old Jedediah Candlestickmaker likes chalupas.

1 comment:

akp said...

luv! once again a lovely post! be blessed!