A Place for the Living – A Home for the Dead

Posted: May 3, 2016 in Opinions and Observations
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

 

In many cities and small towns throughout the globe, there are places where the living take comfort by visiting the dead.  Cemeteries provide a common burial place for relatives, ancestors and the unknown traveler.  Many believe these to be sacred grounds, spaces to reconnect and remember those before us.  For some a look ahead to our own mortality.  The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band had a line I often think of from one of their songs called “Buy for Me the Rain”.  It looks at this from a slightly different angle; “Gravestones cheer the living, dear, they’re no use to the dead“.  All are valid thoughts and should be respected regardless of your personal views.   

 In my town there is a beautiful cemetery.  My wife and I have gone there for years to walk, watch spring take back the landscape and follow the seasons as winter inevitably returns. I often bring my camera as I cannot deny the beauty. People come there to paint, jog, stroll, get married and seek a type of peace hard to capture in the surrounding city.  The trees, surrounding lakes and flowers keep demanding our return.  Over the years I have taken many pictures and I would like to share a small sample with you.  This is where my mother and younger brother had their ashes placed, so it is a special place for me in so many ways.  While not intending to capture gravestones or monuments, they are a big part of its beauty.  Tourist attractions often include Spring Grove Cemetery for travelers and those not familiar with the city.  Fall is gorgeous there.  Peace can be felt there.  I hope some of these pictures will give you an idea why it draws so many people again and again. 

 

Comments
  1. Chris White says:

    Wonderful Mike. Love and respect are the hallmarks of humanity and we see them in such places.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Nicole says:

    This is like no cemetery I’ve every seen. Beautiful. And beautiful photos as well. Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

    • midimike says:

      It is, isn’t it! It is a true local gem. I am glad they are open to visitors of all interests. I do not have to sneak my camera in or be concerned about where I go or what pictures I take. I appreciate the comments and will share more pictures soon. Every season is just amazing.

      Like

  3. bino32 says:

    That’s one beautiful place. It makes me want to sit down right there on a bench for a year, with pen and paper and write lyrics inspired by each season!

    Like

    • midimike says:

      I agree completely. It is gorgeous through every season. I am often rushed during my visits as it is hard to avoid deadlines and outside pressures. That is why we go back season after season, year after year. I have hundreds of pictures and have taken away many thoughts to write about later. I will share more pictures as the response has been great.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Heartafire says:

    Beautiful and of course a bit melancholy so peaceful and serene. thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

    • midimike says:

      Thank you. I agree. It is difficult to take pictures here and not feel the loss of countless families and friends. A place where many find peace and beauty to replace pain and emptiness.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Heartafire says:

        I agree that the ritual of burial is for the living of course, a place to mourn and then revisit the memories. In my family cemetery there are graves dating back to the revolutionary war…it’s quite startling!

        Liked by 1 person

      • midimike says:

        … to mourn, revisit memories.
        … to celebrate lives past and allow life to move forward after loss. The sense of family history is so important and amazing.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Heartafire says:

        so true mike!

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Dionne Bee says:

    Gorgeous! As a child, I used to sit on gravestones and play. Then there was a period when they spooked me out. Now, there’s a sense of connection and being a part of a greater script called life.

    Liked by 1 person

    • midimike says:

      Thank you! I think of life and growing up more as a spiral than a ‘circle of life’. We can pass the same places and experience similar events, but each time we bring with us what we have learned from the last encounter. At some point the spirals ‘connect’ and we begin to truly understand. Good for you!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Rockleigh says:

    There is no peace as such elsewhere on earth than a cemetery, such a beautiful silence.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Andrea R Huelsenbeck says:

    This reminds me of the cemetery in New Jersey where my parents and my husband’s parents are buried. The cemeteries around my home in Arizona only allow markers level with the ground. I love the beautiful old monuments.

    Liked by 1 person

    • midimike says:

      It is good for survivors to have a place of beauty when they visit cemeteries. I find it inspires a sense of peace and helps replace the loss many feel. I could not imagine the level markers but I understand reasons behind that kind of planning. I love the older monuments too and will post more pictures in the future. Hard for me to resist sharing them!

      Like

  8. M Chaillot says:

    Very lovely, Mike–and I don’t know why, but I puddled up as soon as I began reading. (I see you found my new blog–thanks!)

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Serenity! You’re a great photographer, Mike 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Tikeetha T says:

    It is a beautiful cemetery.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. E.G. says:

    Wow, very beautiful indeed. The lyrics you chose to mention also fit quite seamlessly. As always thank you for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. tracihalpin says:

    Beautiful photos! I never thought of a cemetery in this way……hmmmm

    Liked by 1 person

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