Tuesday, 8 September 2009

walking the stones

With both ruffians in school, I had something I very rarely get - a day off. Not that I've been working a lot lately, but every day seems taken up with minutiae, daily living is-the-bathroom-cleaned and do-we-have-any-flour kind of stuff.

Today? Today I struck out on my own.

Early Fall (or is this technically still Indian Summer? I wonder.) here is gorgeous. Everything from the last petals of the beach roses to the browning but still pink as a maiden's blush hydrangeas compete with the blue, blue sky and the deep green of the leaves to catch the eye.

It was tempting to just trek through the woods and meadows, but today I had a purpose. I had my camera with me, you see, and time. What else could anyone want?

There have been places beckoning to me for awhile now, little corners and spaces that I've wanted to walk through, and today......today I went to them willingly.

It was a good day to walk through the graveyards.


The cemeteries around here are mostly set on slopes and hills, with achingly beautiful views of the river or the sea and surrounded by sun-dappled sentinel trees.

They are gentle places, places to be introspective in.

Some graves are so old the stones themselves are returning to the earth.


A few are never forgotten, even after fifty years or more:


Nay, someone always tends the flowers.


I've always loved cemeteries. The places I grew up in had paths and walkways built around the stones, so it was possible to meander along and see the monuments, the statues built through the years. It gave us a sense of continuance, and more firmly rooted us in the history of the town. While the smaller graveyards here don't have the imposing monoliths and chipped stone angels dominating the scenery, they're still beautiful and worth a quiet, reverent walk through.

They're lovely.




Really lovely.

16 comments:

DD said...

I also think cemetaries have a unique quiet beauty. When some genius thought using flat markers and allowing no flowers, headstones, or trees, he made them ugly. I want a place to go and reflect on life; not to see how easy it is for the landscaper to mow.

Lone Grey Squirrel said...

Couldn't agree with you more. i too enjoy contemplative walks in cemeteries. The photos look great.

witchypoo said...

This is my fave season in NS too. We have glorious falls!
Chanterelles should be found there, and I wonder if the high school set are looking for the magic mushrooms. Graveyards are a good place to find them, so I've been told.

My float said...

Cemeteries should be macabre, but actually they're very peaceful places, aren't they? The photos are gorgeous...

Badger said...

Ooo, I love a good graveyard. The older, the better. Can't understand why people think they're creepy.

Mary G said...

You had a beautiful day for it and took some smashing photos - The one with the hydrangea is just amazing.
This is a fine time of year in Eastern Ontario too - you have just jogged my elbow to take my camera for a walk. Thanks.

Chantal said...

I remember wandering around cemeteries in my home town. Haven't done that in ages.

May-B said...

I love cemeteries. As a kid, our family met friends at a picnic site that was next to a cemetery. The kids always spent the day amongst the tombstones.

ree said...

I also love walking through cemetaries. Then I go home and try to google the names to find out if the stories I have in my head are really anything like the reality.

Beautiful pics.

Judy Haley (CoffeeJitters.Net) said...

I love cemeteries too.

Mike said...

Great photos, thanks for sharing. Cemetaries just remind me of the history that we all have shared...

not-so suburban momma said...

I walk through the woods all the time-why don't I ever think to bring my camera??? Thanks for reminding me that it may not be enough just to smell the roses.

kittenpie said...

When I was a kid, a babysitter took me for a picnic in the cemetary. We went for a walk, ate on a hill overlooking the valley, and made rubbings. I never forgot it.

Debbie Rodgers said...

In the pre-Internet (pre-historic) days, I did a lot of genealogical research & spent many weekends and holidays in graveyards. I always found them very peaceful places, and great for meditating on the lives of the ancestors I was chasing.
(I think Indian summer is technically the period of warm weather we often get after a few HARD frosts. Thus, it's usually in October. We haven't had any frost here so far on the North Shore - how about there?)

Sara said...

I find cemeteries to be very soothing and peaceful places....haven't visited one in a while. I visited a forgotten one just outside Salvage, Nfld a couple of years ago (the grass between the stones was thigh high) and took quite a few photos.

Stomper Girl said...

Beautiful pictures Jess, your neck of the woods looks so scenic.