Tuesday, June 12, 2012

VT Places: Hope Cemetery

For Memorial Day this year, we drove to Barre, Vermont to see its beautiful cemetery. (I took many-a-photograph, so it wasn't until now that I went through my files to delete, organize, and edit.)

Barre is known worldwide for its granite. I'm actually surprised to have learned this because New Hampshire is The Granite State after all, but what do I know? Cemeteries in New England are so ancient (in American terms) and fascinating. Some find them to be spooky, while I find them spiritually uplifting. At the Hope Cemetery, deceased loved ones are honored with beautiful headstones carved with impressive detail and skill. I'm impressed with the creativity that it took to pay tribute to their lives; the painstaking workmanship of the headstones is incredible.

While my kids were being entertained by grandparents, I walked up and down the winding streets of the cemetery, taking photographs in the hot Monday sun. The experience was sobering for me; each unique headstone seemed to tell a story of the person buried here. I reflected on my own life and wondered what kind of legacy I would make for my posterity. As I was snapping away, the hope of life after death rang true in my heart. My breath caught a new determination for improvement; I felt a peace within and a knowing feeling that I am living as best I can. What a gratifying irony it is that the dead can inspire and teach the living. The pictures I took from that day are, to me, certainly worth thousands of words.