weeds in the field

I often walk my dogs along the trail that passes the old country cemetery, where both farm families and Hutterites of all ages sleep in eternity.

It is decently maintained, win-rowed when a farmer has the time, usually early July.

However, for now while most are in the field, this little old cemetery sits a bit neglected, surrounded by prairie grass and weeds.

My dogs run through the grass and around the headstones, in and out, round and round with no awareness whatsoever to what’s beneath their padded paws. I walk along, careful not to step on the buried, as though the skeletons six feet deep would be offended if I did.

I wonder what me and Country Man’s headstones would say, what people would think if they read the inscriptions? I know this sounds morbid, it probably is, but it gives me perspective and a connection to the past I think people of the world often crave. I do.

I like to think we’ll hold hands, as though death couldn’t stop us from touching while we sleep, no more than life could.

Most of the time I don’t know what to think about all of it, death, what happens after it.

For now I am just grateful to be among the living, to exist at all.

The confrontation of life’s briefness is both terrifying and magnificent, like each breath and heart pump is amazing and those you love you choose to love, so each opportunity to hug and kiss and be kind should be taken.

That much I know for sure.

This is what a walk along the weedy path and past a cemetery makes me think on.


30 thoughts on “weeds in the field

  1. For now I am just grateful to be among the living, to exist at all.

    For a couple of years, I kept fretting about what happened after death. I’d read repeatedly that it didn’t make sense to waste now worrying about then, and part of me got it while another just could not grasp it. I’ve recently reached the place where, like you, I just feel grateful to exist at all, for however long it is I have. It’s a grand place to be.

  2. I love the way you write, and your photos were a lovely complement to the words. I have loved cemeteries for years — I just love the lost stories that abide there, and was saddened by the first gravestone for the dead child — but I also agree: death is the one topic that we assiduously ignore and pretend doesn’t exist , even though we are literally one breath away from it at any given time. I guess that knowledge is just unbearable …. but thanks so much for this beautiful post!!

  3. I like walking in old cemeteries and reading the headstones, wondering at the lives lived and for some forgotten.
    “For now I am just grateful to be among the living, to exist at all.” Lovely thought – after my Dashing Young Scotsman (well not so young then) died I made an effort to enjoy and really live each day. I slip sometimes but I am human after all.

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