A Parable in a Cemetary

The cemetary in the fog and rain

Every morning I go for a jog in a nearby cemetary. It is a very old and very beautiful cemetary. (The picture above was taken this morning in the cemetary in the fog and rain). It is also pretty small and you can walk across its full width in about ten minutes. And as far as the old goes it is old by American standards. I would imagine it is quite young when compared to European cemetaries.

In this chatauqua I want to talk a little bit about the cemetary, the trees in it, life. You see, the cemetary is quite unique. It has a lot of beautiful trees and it is well maintained. But, it also has quite a few trees that have passed on, and many others that are in the late stages of decline. Some of them have slowly declined to the size of ten foot high stumps. The wonderful thing about this is that the city doesn't cut these dead trees down. And that is very important. These trees are part of the life cycle of this little eco system. If you investigate them you realize that they are very important! Small animals live in them, insects live in them, woodpeckers joyfully knock their heads against them and on one morning I even saw a large bird of prey swoop down into the branches of one of these dead trees and then fly away with a small rodent in it's talons. Can you see that these trees that have passed on are so very important to the life around them. They went through their whole life cycle and now are still important and still contribute even though they no longer live.

The cemetary in Autumn

I And this is where my little parable and comparison comes in. The cemetary is well, a cemetary and it is full of reminders of people that lived their lives and died. And this relates very directly with my thoughts about the trees. You see, we should think of these people in a similar way we think about the trees that have passed. These people all lived lives, had children, tilled the earth, wrote books, sang songs and have left gentle ripples on the lake we now swim in. It is important to realize this and to respect this. These people still contribute. Their blood runs throuugh our veins and their ideas, thoughts, dreams are threads that run through the fabric of our lives.


The children of Benjamin and Sarah Bowen

They are still contributing to life, our lives, not in the same way that the trees do but in more profound ways. Remember this.

Last year I wrote a story about this cemetary. It is called Resisting the Urge to Shake the Tree.