Wednesday, October 23, 2013

corner view: sacred spaces

Corner View is a weekly appointment - each Wednesday - created by Jane (Spain) and curated by Francesca (Italy), where bloggers from all corners of the world share their view on a pre-arranged theme. The theme this week is "sacred spaces."

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.  


jgy said...

Wow, beautiful selections.
I love finding the sacred is everywhere.
I love this weeks theme, thank you!

Tracy Altieri said...

One of my favorite places on earth is the Duck Creek Cemetray on Cape Cod. Dating back to before the Revolutionary War, it is indeed a sacred place. To read the headstones is to read the history of children lost in childhood, of sea captains and captain's wives, of the rare few who lived past 50, and the amazing few who lived into their 80's. I never tire of visiting there when I am on the Cape.

ibb said...

There is something special in those ones (there are not here like that) with grass on the floor, that are green....

Menthe Blanche said...

These cemeteries are so different from here and like IBB, I prefer them because of the grass on the floor.

Anonymous said...

i agree about cementaries ... and what a lovely set of pics :)

Anonymous said...

I love this survey of various cemeteries and the different ways people honor their loved ones. What a beautiful post. Thank you.


babies said...

this is beautiful, your words, photos and the thought you give to the meaning of the practices, traditions in the cemetery. also, a very beautiful place.

Francesca said...

i've enjoyed very much visiting the different corners for this theme, Bev - thank you! when I visit cemeteries, I'm always reminded of a line engraved on a tomb in Florence (St Maria Novella): "you are what I was, I am what you will be" - cemeteries are places where past and future connect in the present, I find.

Marilyn said...

I have always been fascinated by old cemetery's and this one looks like it would have stories to tell.

Susi Art said...

what a post and thoughts with the photo's.....and what an untold stories...

Tree Hugger - Suzan said...

There is so much history in cemeteries!! A beautiful on is Bona Venture in Savannah. You showed pictures of the DAR cemetery in downtown Savannah - the one out on the marsh is lovely and WAS a city park at the turn of the century. they would put stone fence work around the graves and plant flower bed on top of the grave. On weekends, everyone in town would stroll in the gardens and "visit" with their love ones with picnic baskets and tend to the graves with flowers.

♥ w o o l f ♥ said...

when i visit places i never fail to include a cemetery. it's the best and quietest place to take a take away lunch too. in any weather!
what a bunch of variety here, bev. i shall be looking forward to your post about the simple resting place.