I've always associated cemeteries with sadness and grief, with creepy noises and spirits at unrest, with darkness and fear. I've had friends who loved to do rubbings of gravestone inscriptions in very old grave yards, but I never understood the appeal until last year when T and I ventured off of our hiking trail into Homewood Cemetery near Frick Park in Pittsburgh.
So anyway, on to our walk...
We discovered a quiet, serene world where birds sing, deer and groundhogs play, and squirrels chase one another. Beautiful trees and flowers, rolling landscape and lots of green. A gothic beauty and sense of history and mystery. Refuge. Walking there, unexpectedly, is peaceful. There, I feel connected to the earth, the cycle of life, a universal spirit, and to myself. It's become a favorite place.
Home to 600 trees and a lily pond, Homewood cemetery is unique in that buried there are people of all religions and ethnicities and social classes. There is a Chinese section, and Jewish, Muslim, Quaker, Greek Orthodox and Indian sections. Military veterans, members of law enforcement, fire protection and emergency rescue are recognized for their contribution to society in a special dedicated section, the “Garden of Honor.” Founded in 1878, people are still being buried there even today. It makes for a kind of history book.