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Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Old Cemetery, pondering Life

I have always had a fascination with old graveyards. The mystery draws me in and I find myself stepping back in time while walking through the tombstones. I read each grave stone and imagine what their life was like. How did they die? Were they happy in their life? Did people mourn them?

My mind wanders in time and I try to place myself in their world. What kind of woman would I be in 1870? I am pretty outspoken and independent now, would I be then? Is my personality a part of me, or has it been molded through my environment?

I always think life was simpler in the past, before the electronic age and mass transportation. People lived off the land and families were tightly woven. But was it really simpler? The physical labor was intense. People worked from sun up to sun down. Simple conveniences that we take for granted were non existent. Life was hard....were people happy, or were they just too tired to care?

We found this cemetery in the town of Bodega last weekend. The same town The Birds was filmed in. Thankfully my husband knows of my fascination with old cemeteries and indulges my whims. Newer cemeteries don't hold the same power over me....I like the history.


Anonymous said...

I was told to choose a painting by a local artist for a wedding gift from my mother in law. I chose a watercolor of an old Southern graveyard with a little wooden church in the background. It is on the mantle over the fireplace - Charles and I love it, but it gets funny reactions from some people.

To me it's a calm, restful painting - not morbid at all - it's a nice sunny day with spanish moss draping the trees and the old headstones tilted this way and that and you can almost read some of them. The artist told me that the little old graveyard was actually neat and well kept, but she used artistic license to paint it to look as though it had been long forgotten. I love that painting.

Old graveyards are facinating to me.

Karen in SC

Anonymous said...

I always think about the people in old grave yards too, what they thought and how they felt.

I think some things about life were better back then, like how you knew your neighbours and had a community but I'd rather live now. I can't imagine life without my iphone ;) and I'd probably never have got to the US!

Anonymous said...

I'm putting in another comment :)

We went to an old grave yard a couple of years ago for a dedication cerimony for an ancestor and walking among the graves I saw whole families who had died within a few days of each other - I saw the year was 1918 - the big flu epidemic. It touched almost every family.

My grandmother lost her father and twin sister (they were 2 years old) I can't imagine how that must have been for the surviving family members. Very sad.

Karen in SC

karisma said...

I have to admit I have not visited a graveyard for many years! My mother also had a fascination and I remember as a child visiting many a time and reading old grave stones. I used to cry at the amount of young children that died.

Beth from the Funny Farm said...

I love these kinds of graveyards too. We actually have an unmarked (not recorded on the deed) cemetary with a family's gravestones from the 1800's on this farm. Very cool.

Irene Latham said...

I think the appeal of old cemeteries is how it makes us feel connected to those who came before. It's the whole "circle of life" thing. I too have always found great peace in places like this. Thanks for sharing. xxoo

ChrisB said...

Growing up I lived on the doorstep of the local church surrounded by old graves. This was our playground and we spent a lot of time reading the headstones and weaving stories around the people.


Beautiful pictures. I thought I was the only one who loved cemeteries.