In past centuries, before antibiotics and vaccines and c-sections and bypass surgery, death was an ever-present visitor. Children died of a plethora of diseases, mothers died in childbirth and people died of old age in their 60's. There isn't a small town anywhere in our country where you will not find a local graveyard. People were laid to rest in churchyards, town cemeteries or in family plots near their home.
Ever since I was a child, I've been fascinated by graveyards. Not the modern memorial garden kind, but the ones with the lovely old weathered stones from the bygone centuries. To me these markers have so much more beauty and character. I love to study these hand cut, lichen covered mementos of past lives.
I like to look upon graveyards not as spooky or sinister places of ghosts and hauntings, but as a peaceful area for reflective thinking. OK, I don't go there after dark usually! So maybe there is just a little bit of superstition in me.
Amish graveyard on a bare windy hill outside of Newburg, PA
Some of my favorite graveyards are in New England. They are some of the oldest in the country, with the most poignant tombstone art. I love the little faces and skulls with the angel wings!
Aren't these tombstones lovely? They were carved two hundred years ago and are still intact.
I don't remember where this picture was taken. Somewhere in New England, I would guess. I can't imagine a lovelier place to be laid to rest.
This picture I took on Monday when I attended the hook-in at Falling Spring Presbyterian Church in Chambersburg. I love this old cemetery behind the church. I think I've photographed it in every season.
"Let us cross over the river and rest under the shade of the trees".
The dying words of Stonewall Jackson, general in the confederate army during the American Civil War.