There were so many ways to go with the theme of sacred spaces, some religious in tone but others leaning towards the definition of "highly valued or important." In sifting through the photos that I thought I might use for the post I realized that cemeteries are great illustrations of both of these ideas so I gathered photos from past wanderings. Whether you consider yourself a religious person or not, these quiet spaces are special. They're peaceful, historical, reverent, often artistic. Some are area visitor attractions, some are found in all-but-forgotten corners in town, but all are (or at one time were) highly valued, important, sacred spaces.
A beautiful red rose. Quiet evidence that a recently lost loved one
is still dear to someone's heart.
This family group was buried here in the 1920's.
Though that was long ago, someone continues to visit and bring flowers.
Rather than feeling sad at this marker, it feels like a happy place. Small gifts and meaningful trinkets left here are remembrances of a life that was special and is not forgotten.
Some burial grounds, like this one in Savannah, Georgia, are beautifully maintained parks where you'll find folks strolling along winding pathways, or just sitting and reading. It's a quiet spot in an otherwise busy city.
There's lots to be learned about the lives of some very famous people
in this very old, palm tree lined place.
"God's Acre" is a Moravian cemetery in Winston-Salem, NC with a long (dating back to the mid 1700's) and very interesting history. Here, it's all about simplicity and uniformity. There are no statues or memorials to distinguish the rich from the poor to "remind us that everyone is equal in God's sight."
What's significant here also, is that the departed are buried in the traditional Moravian style "not in earthly families, but as they had been seated in the church,
Brethren on the one side, Sisters on the other, the choirs together,
continuing the form of the congregation at worship."
How beautiful is this ancient burial ground in Charleston, SC? Spanish moss hangs heavily from the trees and countless birds sing to the many visitors that come here daily.
Notable features of most cemeteries are the headstones and foot stones.
Some are simple, like the cross above...
...and some are simpler still, like this marker at a slave's final resting place. My visit to this site was very moving and will be a feature in a future post.
You'll see, particularly in the older burial grounds, engraved words of wisdom, farewell thoughts, images of all kinds and sometimes you'll even find porcelain portraits of the beloved embedded in the stones, but beautiful angels are often seen.
Whether you have a religious affiliation or not, to visit an old cemetery is to visit a sacred space - highly valued and important.