Monday, August 31, 2009

As You Are Now,...

There is a tiny cemetery between Elizabethtown and Mineville. It is in the woods. There has been an attempt to clear brush and mow the grass this year, but the branches and leaves are still crowding in. A lot of the graves are from more than a 100 years ago,... some more than 150 years ago.

Walk softly, as you pass by....As you are now,
So once was I....As I am now, so you must be,
Prepare for death and follow me.

Juliett lived to be seven before she died in 1842,

Amelia Ann, only 10 died in 1854,

A father, Enos Wise, who was born in 1787 seems to be comforting his son who died as a teenager. The weatherbeaten pitcher holds faded artificial flowers.

I think I would like to come to my final rest in a place like this.

I wonder what their lives were like. Their loves and their heartbreaks. Very few stones showed ages more than in their 40s. There were a couple that reached ages in their 60s and one was 77. It must have been pure luck to have lived that long a life in those days. I paid my respects and quietly walked back to my car. Sleep well, my friends.




30 comments:

Char said...

there is something so humanizing as reading stones in an older graveyard. so much love, so little time.

i love the respect you paid to them in these shots.

Betsy from Tennessee said...

I love old cemeteries, Cedar. They just fascinate me. I remember one time, George and I were hiking on top of a mountain--and we came upon an old cemetery similar to the one you saw. It was in the mountains and the only way anyone could reach that cemetery is by hiking (or maybe horses). I was shocked to see a cemetery in the mountains like that.

Thanks!!!
Hugs,
Betsy

Sunny said...

Very interesting post. I enjoy going through old cemeteries, there is a lot of history to be found.
Sunny :)

montucky said...

So much to wonder about in a place like that, but the most we can do respect and honor them for the people they were. That short verse is very powerful!

Lorac said...

It really is something to read the old tombstones and see the years and the ages. Sometimes they correspond to a flu epidemic or such as well.

Susannah said...

So well said. My grandfather used to recite that poem. Thank you. This was a wonderful and sincere post. Loved it!

Friends,
Susannah

itsmynature said...

My daughter who has a degree in art and also enjoys photography loves to shoot in graveyards. There are always such stories there.

TourPro said...

There is not much that lasts around the Adirondacks like old cemeteries.

I think it is one of our best connections to the past.

Islandsparrow said...

We live across from a church graveyard with many old stones and interesting sayings. It's a very peaceful spot with big old oak trees standing guard around.

Jean said...

Beautiful post! Great photos! Jean

Rocky Mountain Retreat said...

It's neat to walk through the old cemeteries like that... I often drive past this old one that looks like it is not taken care of with long grasses and overgrown shrubs ... makes me think that it would be interesting to see how old some of those stones are.

I hope all is well with you... hugs and smooches♥

troutbirder said...

We have a similar cemetary on a ridge in a nearby state park. Mostly neglected now. Rarely visited. Full of ghosts. Thanks for reminding me, Cedar!

Shelley said...

I love old cemetaries too - it's so interesting to wonder about their lives. Nice photos!

NCmountainwoman said...

Oh, you are a kindred soul. I could (and do) spend hours in old cemeteries, looking at inscriptions and reflecting on lives. Beautiful post.

smallpines said...

In the human feeling department, I can't do much better than what Char mentioned - "there is something so humanizing as reading stones in an older graveyard. so much love, so little time." But, what a neat, beautiful place. I hope we-the-living do continue to preserve and honor these places.

Welcome, I'm Robynn! said...

Cedar, that was a withering, yet resplendent walk through time and tragedy. I was especially touched by the two gravestones nestled together.

I, too, love old cemetaries and so do the kids and Grizzly. We like to pass through and imagine the lives represented. I'm glad I'll meet some of them on the other side. I know I'll need eternity just to make all the acquaintances I want to.

Sorry I've been so AWOL. Pretty busy and sleepless time for me but for such a good cause. :)

JDS said...

Walking through old cemeteries on quiet days, wondering what kind of the lives were lived by the people buried there, is always humbling. If you ever make it "down South," I recommend hiking to Paynetown Cemetery in a remote section of Great Smoky Mtns Natl Park.

Mountain Woman said...

We have a graveyard so similar within our property. I go there almost every day including winters. I think about the people and their lives and I mourn all the small children who lie beneath the stones. Thanks so much for sharing this post.

Cedar ... said...

Thank you all for your kind comments... this post was sort of spur of the moment,.. I was driving by, saw the cemetery and was drawn in. I didn't imagine it would bring so much interest from you. Thank you so much!

dog trot farm said...

I too enjoy visiting old cemeteries. I am so fascinated by the old headstones. Two of the most interesting cemeteries I have visited have been in Salem, Mass. and Deerfield, Mass.

The Retired One said...

I LOVED this post. I also love old cemeteries and wonder about the lives it holds.
Our small town has a "walking tour" of the cemetery here every Memorial Day where they choose 3 of the headstones and find out info about the person...they walk to the headstone and someone talks about the person at that grave....everything they can find out about them and their family. Very cool!

kcjewel said...

this is such a nice post. it's nice to visit an old cemetery alone and meditate on the souls that rest there. very nice photographs.

A New England Life said...

You can't help but think of the pain those families went through, losing their loved ones so young. The old cemetaries are very romantic yet so sad at the same time. Head stones today don't seem to hold the same emotion as they used too.

itsmynature said...

There are lessons to be learned everyday in all that we see and do.

www.itsmynaturephotography.com

Tammie Lee said...

Graveyards are so interesting. We have to wonder at who all the people are, why they lived the years they did, or didn't. Who their loved ones were. I love the old falling over stones. So full of stories to be told!
Spirithelpers

Debbie said...

Ahhh, I love cemeteries. One of my favorite sights was seeing a family reunion taking place in a cemetery in West Virginia. Such a bittersweet sight and still so joyful. Perfect.

Wayfaring Wanderer said...

I really enjoy strolling through cemeteries. Often I find myself thinking about their lives as you do too.

Did you ever see the post I did on Oakland Cemetery? You might enjoy the video I made?!

~ A Stroll Through Oakland Cemetery ~

Have a great weekend :D

Gail said...

Great post, I just visited the little cemetery here. I need to go back and visit more of the graves.

Janet said...

I just thought it was me that liked to visit old cemeteries! The ones in old gold mining towns are a hoot... tells how they died,,, like a barmaid of dyptheria and another killed in a gunfight, etc. (this was central city, co)

You live in a gorgeous place, Cedar!

later !

JanetA

Mountain Woman of Red Pine Mountain said...

Your graveyard reminds me of the one on our farm. So poignant to read all the stones of lives from long ago. I imagine in our part of the country, life was most harsh but it is a testament to the human spirit they kept on persevering in spite of the difficulties.
Just a lovely post. Thank you.