Walking in a cemetery might seem morbid or creepy. Not for me.
To amble through the graveyard in one’s hometown is to invite a flood of memories, for the names on the stones are familiar. My twelve years of public school classrooms were filled with kids with those last names.
I knew some of the people resting here. Teachers, shop owners, farmers for whom I put up hay, women who scolded me to behave or they’d tell my Mother (with whom they had gone to school), that guy-the-unbelievable-gardener, veterans of every war, and of course Grandpa and Grandma, Uncles, Aunts, cousins, and Dad, who forever marked my life.
There are a few bad apples resting on that hillside, but by far most were decent, honest, hard-working, religious, patriotic, working/middle class Americans, some of long vintage, some whose parents arrived at the turn of the last century.
Roots. It’s good to hail from a small town.
A walk through a cemetery offers perspective re country, culture, life itself.
In a graveyard, everyone is alike.
Sex can be inferred from feminine or masculine names but not sexuality, as argued these days.
No visible differences are discernible in race, ethnicity, nationality, education, wealth or poverty.
Beauty and appearance, eloquence, intellect, achievement, fame, power, even personality mean nothing.
Typically, no flags wave proclaiming any allegiance other than the American flag, visible on veterans’ resting places but usually also somewhere in large form on the property, signifying a key principle of Americana, patriotic e pluribus unum.
Political party is not in evidence. Nor is ideology Right or Left. No Trump or Biden signs. Posturing and pretense are gone. It’s a peaceful landscape.
Religion is not for sure identifiable, even if headstone architecture features religious symbols, for these may say more about those left behind than the deceased.
Either way, as someone said, “He was but now is, and his is is greater than his was.”
So, we’re more alike than some of us care to admit.
© Rex M. Rogers – All Rights Reserved, 2021
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