I've always found old cemeteries intriguing. When I was a teenager, many moons ago, I used to walk by the little cemetery in my hometown and pass a little headstone for a child, and I'd wonder who they were and why they had died so young. As I got older, whenever I'd see an old cemetery, I'd stop and wander through the rows of headstones, taking note of the dates and inscriptions. Shortly after I met my husband, we took a drive up through the Kootenays in BC to visit my family, and on the way back down we saw an old cemetery by a ricketty little church, so we had to stop. Until we got chased away by the angry hoard of mosquitoes--veangeful spirits, perhaps? We had mosquitos in the car for hours afterwards!
My children hold the same fascination with cemeteries. We live near a huge one that dates back to the mid 1800's, and the cemetery itself has a history as being the place where many of the victims of the Johnstown flood were buried. It is one of our favorite Sunday afternoon places. We walk over there, sometimes bringing a snack, and the kids have their favorite stone mausoleums that they like to visit. It's kind of funny, because last summer I took a picture of J behind some beautiful flowers. "Where did you take that?" "Um...the flowers were on someone's grave, and J wanted her picture taken with them, and they WERE pretty, and I'm sure Mrs. so-and-so wouldn't mind..."
Frankly, I think the majority of the spirits whose bodies are in the graveyard would probably find the laughter of children refreshing. We've had nice talks about life and death while walking through the cemetery. J thinks of it as a temporary storage facility for bodies until the resurrection. There's no sense of the creepy or scary. It's just what it is!
I was talking to a friend about our cemetery walks, and that it was a wonderful place to bring kids. There was plenty of open grassy space for the kids to wander, there was lots to talk about, and the kids thought it was great.
She thought it was kind of odd.
What do YOU think?
Today's photos were taken at an old Quaker cemetery in Bedford County, PA. Drove by and had to stop.