Putting things into perspective, but not in the way you’d think.
Cemeteries are favorite places for taking daytime, mind-clearing strolls. Specifically the older cemeteries with dates from the 1800’s-mid 1900’s. Although the function is the same as any other cemetery, the age makes a difference. Gravestones are usually more detailed and I admire the craftsmanship. With that attention to detail there is a deeper personal connection to the person each memorial belongs to, in my mind anyway. Adding to that personal connectedness are the ceramic memorial photos, which I find incredibly intriguing. I can almost feel the spirits of those buried around me. I sit and wonder about their lives and wish I could somehow talk to them.
Funny, most people probably think of death in a place like this. I don’t. What I think about is two ever opposing sides of life. Care and kindness vs. destruction and selfishness. The care to create such splendid memorials can be seen in every painstakingly placed tile, every carved flower or bit of filigree, and in each enchanting portrait. Over time, there would be some naturally occurring destruction, given the age of these areas. What I’m speaking of is destruction by human hands, hands of the selfish, those who are blind to the beauty and meaning in each gravestone. Instead, a place of peace becomes a playground where anything goes. Those lovely portraits, used for target or batting practice. That carefully carved stone detail, chipped away at just for fun. No thought is given to the people these memorials represent or the craftsmanship that went into making them.
The decimation can be disheartening, but if I really focus and look through the negative rather than at it, I can see glimpses of renewed care and kindness peeking through. I see this in the flowers, still vividly colored, placed on graves. Some of these graves are over 100 years old, so the fact that the flowers aren’t faded by the sun shows me that someone still cares. I also see care and kindness in the tiny trinkets left atop graves. I am most touched when I see tiny toys placed near the graves of children. Those small gestures remind me that there are still kind-hearted, thoughtful people in this world. Although they may be few and far between, if I continue to look through the negative, I will continue to see those oh-so-lovely shining gems of positivity.