Standing in the Cemetery, Watching the Sky
During the winter months, after it's snowed, I don't usually have access to Gray's Cemetery, one of my favorite local graveyards. They do not clear the two tiny lanes into the cemetery. And so you can drive by, but you can't go in.
All of this has changed. The snow has melted now, and though there is some debris, the roads are clear enough. On my way home the night before, I'd noticed corn stalk bales in the field across the road. I made plans to park in the cemetery the next day, and go and see.
And so it was that Thursday morning found me standing in a favorite cemetery, watching the sky. I did cross the road to go and see the bales, and they were lovely, but the sky show is what really caught my attention.
First, a huge wall of dark clouds came in from the right. It was pretty impressive. Then the light fought back. Suddenly, one beam shone out. Then, another, as though they encouraged each other.
It was wonderful, and very dramatic, and by the time it was all done, those clouds had split and started to disperse into tinier bits. Sun shone again, but through the clouds.
Now, I find that there is a story I have been waiting to tell you about this graveyard. It was a winter day - and I can't remember if I was driving home, or riding the bus. It had snowed, and iced, and the top of every gravestone was covered in a thick layer of shining ice.
And then the sun came out, just a beam, like the first one did on this very morning. And then it grew to more. And suddenly, the air was full of light. The top of every single gravestone was glowing, with the golden winter fire of ice. The entire graveyard was LIT, as though there would be a great PARTY there.
I struggle to put into words how profound the experience was. The memory sparkles with magic as I pull it out of my pocket and turn it over and over, and look at it again. It CHANGED me. And by golly, there was nowhere to stop, no way to get a picture. (If only I could SHOW you instead of TELL you, so you would know how special this place is.)
The feeling that it gave me was one of absolute beauty and peace, and even hope. Do you know about the cemeteries in New Orleans, and how the families would come, and sit by the graves, and meet and entertain?
It was THAT kind of festive feeling. Not a place of darkness and fear; a place for living and even celebrating, lit up golden and beautiful. And I shall never see this cemetery the same way again. It will always be like that for me: a tiny city of sparkling, golden light. And hope. And yes, even joy.
The soundtrack song is an absolute favorite, for the battle taking place over my head: Heart, with the Battle of Evermore.