I hadn’t intended to spend a weekend with the dead, but it happened. My Saturday plan was to go work on some Geoart that I had started but never finished, but I ended up oversleeping. Instead of getting up around dawn and working the back roads, I ended up rolling out of bed closer to lunchtime. Since I had dinner plans, I decided to take a short drive to a nearby small town and go from there.
We all know that if you’ve seen one small town cemetery (or, in this case, a graveyard because there’s an attached church), you’ve seen them all. At the same time, they’re all their own unique places with their own families and their own names resting in them. I wish I had some deeper philosophical point to make, some bon mot that I could pontificate on, but at this point, a cemetery is a cemetery to me. There was a time I thought of them as sacred spaces, and I still feel there is an appropriate decorum, of course. At the same time, I do not hold them with the same reverence that I once did. They are places that are part of the world, like anywhere else.
I shot off to another nearby town for a couple more caches. One was at a cemetery that was on private land. The stones and markers were mostly gone after decades without new interments. I wonder if cemeteries fall apart without visitors. Perhaps we, the living, bring them the energy they need to continue existing. That is, if you believe in semi-mystical stuff like that. One could just as easily say that people who come through notice and fix things that fall apart, helping them last longer.
Another cache was a Virtual at a nearby cemetery. This one was larger and more scenic, obviously still in use and well visited. And yet one of the most central markers was for a former Confederate officer. The fluttering battle flag left at the grave said all that needed to be said. I always feel the urge to pull them up and toss them when I see them, or any other Confederate flag, but I don’t. I still like to think I maintain respect for the dead and their resting places.
The final one for the day was a roadside cemetery on the way home. This one especially caught my attention because I know I’ve passed it many times on the way to and from Lampasas, Brownwood, and many other points northwest. We pass these places all the time, but they pass below our notice. This time, this one did not.
Sunday’s cache drew me to a local cemetery I had been to before. Several luminaries rest there, including James Michener and Zachary Scott. In this case, I was brought to a veteran’s stone and the tree shading it. Once I applied tweezers and signed the log, I returned to the people who love me. There’s nothing else like that to make you feel so alive.
2 thoughts on “Noticing Stones”
I do enjoy the cemeteries. I browse the stones and try to imagine the stories of their lives. The small stones are the most sobering. One cemetery I went to, the family lost six children over the space of two years. LIkely disease – four one year and two the following.