I have a love of cemeteries. I always have done, always will have. Some of you may think strolling through a cemetery and this past time quite macabre, whereas I find it fascinating. I know some of you may share this 'hobby' of mine. To walk amongst the dead, gives me reverence for those who have lost their lives and inner tranquility.
Because our country (Australia) is relatively new (243 years) or thereabouts when Captain James Cook first landed declaring it Terra Nullius, we do not have the historic cemeteries of Europe, or indeed other countries. Regardless, I never tire visiting or reading the loving words etched in stone.
The picture above also depicts the sparseness of the land, with the sugar cane (that is abundant in Queensland) and the picturesque mountains in the background, this is because as of 2011 there were 1733 people living in this small town of Mossman, so to put it politely, they have space.
As I strolled from site to site, I noticed vases with plastic flowers that had been blown or knocked from the grave. I tended to these, I could not walk past without doing so. I refilled any rocks or pebbles that had been spilt out of the vases and arranged the flowers or ornaments back on the grave as they were intended. On some sites, I would say a few words to those that lay beneath and wonder about the families that have either passed away, moved town or do not care to pay homage any longer.
When we were away, Mr. S played a round of Golf, I on the other hand wanted to visit the small cemetery.
The oldest grave was 1938, the majority of them were in the 1960's to current. I took the one below because they were a Czech couple (my Pop/dad) is Czech. They both escaped the War as he did, I stood and thought of him when I read this.
When I was in the UK I remember visiting Highgate:- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Highgate_Cemetery
Some graves, yes admittedly have brought a tear to my eye, especially when I see the graves of little ones, but as I read the words (some barely visible) I am transported back to their time and stand absorbed and pensive, thinking of who they were and what their life was like before they passed.
At Highgate there are approximately 170,000 buried. Some of the people laid to rest here include, the parents of Author Charles Dickens and some of his family. Jean Simmons the actress , Karl Marx, poets, painters, soldiers and more. Below is one of graves with a fallen Angel. Who lies beneath her I wonder?
Also in the UK, we visited Grasmere in Cumbria and saw the grave (below) of William Wordsworth the poet.
When we visited France in 2001, my daughters and I went to Pere Lachasie Cemetery
Here lies Sarah Bernhardt, Frederick Chopin, Isadora Duncan, Edith Piaf, Oscar Wilde and Jim Morrison to name a few.
Which brings me to my last photo taken at Mossman Cemetry.
and I am lain beneath hard earth
I feel no pain, nor cold or heat of sun
I hear no voices, or hear the distant waves
nor view the sparkle in your eyes
and those that witness where I lay
my name revealed to you and how I passed
spare a thought for me, for I once
stood above this earth as you
and if my name's invisible
please stand and honour me as my loved
ones have moved on and leave an
unmarked cross, to show that I once breathed
Perhaps this is why I feel I have the calling to be a funeral celebrant. Maybe my love of walking around cemeteries has something to do with this(in a Freud type of way) Do you walk around Cemeteries like I?