It seems an odd thing to many that a person would enjoy going to a cemetery, but I have three main reasons that they appeal to me:
- The first reason is that my grandmother used to take me and I think some of my siblings (not sure) to Oak Hill Cemetery in San Jose, California, to put flowers on the graves of her parents and other members of the extended family, who frankly I cannot remember. The act of placing flowers on the graves enchanted me back then and still does, but it was the fact that Oak Hill had peacocks that always made me happy we were going – both the traditional blue and green birds and white ones. I’m not sure if Oak Hill still has them, but I’m planning to visit my relatives there in the next year or so and see.
- I always feel at peace in a graveyard. I have no explanation for that, but it’s true. It feels similar to me as going inside a church. I’m not at all religious, and yet the inside of a church calms and centers me. I feel the same way walking slowly through a cemetery, especially if I’m alone.
- The history contained in a cemetery is immense. I stop at any pioneer cemetery I have time for – especially in California. The gravestones tell such stories. The pictures here are from the oldest cemetery in Central America in Granada, Nicaragua. It was mainly used from 1872-1921 and you can see that no expense was spared here. The wealthy chose to show off their wealth in death as in life. Former presidents of Nicaragua are buried here.
I’m headed to Guatemala soon, where I hope to visit Mayan Ruins. My amazing experience in Angkor Wat last year tells me that I’ll be overwhelmed there as well. Ruins give me that same feeling of calm as the graveyards and churches. Perhaps it’s the sense of connection to things that are long gone. I don’t know.