The Country Cemetery
I parked my car and walked quietly through its swinging gates. The cemetery was waking to the new day; birds were singing and the flowers were beginning to open. Sitting on the old wall, which ran past the field, you could imagine the activity going on within.
Many people were doing errands and gossiping over gravestones, while their children went to school just across the way.
You could hear Uriah Cornfield, died 1753, talking excitedly with John McCormick, died 1804, about the great harvest coming soon and the possibility of a long Indian summer.
And you could see Maggie Turner, died 1821, sitting by the stream, cleaning the family’s clothes on the smooth stones, while her two young daughters were playing games, waiting for their mother to finish her chores.
On a sleeping country road in the midst of the Sussex countryside, the cemetery lived quietly from day to day, and every so often a car would pass by, not even glancing at the thriving community.
One man died at age eighty-seven. He was a self made man who often recalled stories of marauders who killed his parents. And next to him there lay a young boy who had seen only six short months of life, only to die a violent death, when smallpox hit the region in ‘29.
And there are many more, all lying patiently, living death to its best, thinking and waiting and celebrating with God.
Soon, when the living have forgotten, the men and women will be born again and out of death they will come, marching slowly, hand in hand.
It was sad for a time when everyone was alone, and then, methodically, one by one, they all put their feet into the marble world and have since been forgotten.
Now it seems to be much the same. All are alone in this hidden world and one by one they are dying to live.
Many were neglected by time, but slowly they’re coming back, to once again, complete the endless cycle of eternity.