A place of quiet contemplation

I like cemeteries, especially old ones full of interesting monuments and/or family members. Cemeteries are usually quiet and pretty; they encourage us to think and they remind us of our roots.

Take this one in Clarence, Ontario, which we visited when our eldest son, now 21, was an adorable 1 1/2 year old:

Newly arrived in the North Country, we made the pilgrimage to Clarence out of curiosity. There actually is no real town there, just an old church and a few houses. Serendipity and a complete stranger led us to the cemetery one town over where most of our British/Canadian family members are buried. James is peeking out from behind the tombstone of his great, great, (many greats)…grandfather, Isaac Whitney Taylor (1791-1861), whose daughter, Louisa Taylor, after marrying a wild Frenchman, Fabian Blais, had 9 children including our great grandmother on our mother’s side, Susie Louise. She in turn married the hard-working Scottish lumberman, Daniel Cameron, who moved the family from the backwoods to bustling Burlington VT. Imagine Susie’s relief.

Our father’s father’s family also lived in VT and proximity has made it possible to visit the small cemetery in Moretown (between Burlington and Montpelier), where lots of them are buried. Moretown is another non-town which now has only the cemetery and a few houses. When our great, great grandfather’s family lived there, they ran an Inn for a while so it must have been a little busier. Here’s a picture of yours truly and her three little goofballs visiting the ancestors. Whatever would they have thought of the tie-dyed shirt and backwards fanny-packs? One dare not imagine.

One can visit a cemetery without indulging in the beautiful melancholy of Baudelaire, who wrote, “To the solemn graves, near a lonely cemetery, my heart like a muffled drum is beating funeral marches.” But it is nice to pay our respects to those who came before us, whether we knew them personally or not. I highly recommend a visit to your local cemetery.