There is a cemetery north of town in which I like to stroll through now and then. The cemetery has a flat part that runs along South Union St and then runs uphill and around a stand of trees to the other half which faces south over town.
The highest point of the cemetery is in the northwest corner of the property. There is a bench there that I like to sit on and take in the view. From the bench I can see down into the village of Cambridge and south of there the rounded hills of what I think is the Taconic mountain range. I could be wrong-I never seem to have a topographical map with me when I am sitting on the bench.
I find cemeteries very peaceful when I am not there to do anything other than walk through them. If you can find an old graveyard, it typically has a lot of land and since there are very few people there, you can sometimes catch a glimpse of wildlife and the landscapes are mostly pleasing to the eye.
Sometimes I will stop at a headstone and look at the inscription. I especially like to do this at a grave that looks very old. I feel grounded by the fact that there are some people buried in this cemetery that were born 200 years ago. I recently saw that a gravestone that gave a birthdate of 1760. As I started to do the math in my head I realized that this person was born before the United States.
What was the world like in 1760? What did people want? Was it some of the same things that we still want today? I’m sure they didn’t want the new iPhone but I bet they wanted a family that they could love and would love them back. I’m sure they wanted a strong community where they could count on their neighbors. I bet they wanted to be able to connect with their fellow man in a positive way.
I have had people tell me that they are creeped out by cemeteries. They don’t like being around that many dead people. I feel completely opposite. I feel like the people that are in there no longer have the worries of life that you and I do. They have lived their lives and had their worries. I feel like they are happy when someone comes to visit their neighborhood. And they welcome me through their pleasant views and sounds of birds singing.