In my personal opinion, graveyards are some of the most beautiful places in the world. They always catch my attention when I’m driving; I love passing little local ones when I’m driving, and I think that they’re absolutely beautiful and peaceful places in general. I absolutely love looking out over a sea of headstones of all shapes and sizes with inscriptions ranging from within my lifetime to centuries ago. There’s something so calming and reverential about them, and I think they’ve got a bot of a bad rep.
Now, of course, I’m not saying that some graveyards aren’t creepy as hell. Some of them are so old and run down that walking through them armed with just a flashlight on a full moon night would probably give me a heart attack, but all spooky atmosphere aside, I think that there’s a stigma that surrounds graveyards. For one; they aren’t always that creepy, especially in the daylight. Sure, most of them have a very distinct and old vibe to them, but when you actually get down to it, the sea of headstones is actually really beautiful; all different shapes, sizes, years, stories….it’s so strangely beautiful that I can’t help but stare. Not to mention the fact that they’re usually tucked away amongst the trees, usually on lovely grassy hills and if there are no flowers on the graves, there will probably be some wildflowers growing around some of the graves. And they’re usually very quiet. Save for the few cars that may drive by and the chirping of birds, they’re usually so peaceful and still that it’s hard for me to see anything but an unconventional beauty and sense of calm. Of course, aside from the general atmosphere, I think graveyards and cemeteries serve a purpose that just adds to their surreal beauty.
When you really get down to it, cemeteries are one of the most significant places in our society, both to the deceased and to the people who knew them. They’re a final resting place, where most likely the last tangible traces and stories of you will end up. Every headstone is a monument to someone who has passed, etched in stone as a way to make sure that those memories and monuments last. And when people visit them, they’re proving that those monuments aren’t useless; someone will come across them one day and know that the person buried under them once existed, once had a life of their own. And as existential as that is, it’s also incredibly significant, and, I think, a comforting thought.
Although they have a reputation for being creepy places and gateways for ghosts to follow you home, I still find myself drawn to the calm respite and serene importance of cemeteries and graveyards. So maybe stop by a local plot with some offerings for the dead if you have time, I’m sure they would appreciate the company.