Sand Hill Cemetery in the Snow
It was a beautiful, blue-sky wintry day, and we decided to go for a drive. We got in the car and drove to Bellefonte, where we picked up a chef salad to go at Jim's, and then stopped and nabbed a bunch of books at the library. (Hooray, I now hold in my happy hands the newest Jim Butcher Dresden Files book!)
From there, we headed to Bald Eagle State Park, specifically, Upper Green's Run Road, where there is a beautiful little cemetery that I love. It is called Sand Hill Cemetery, and it has many graves from 1800s, including at least one Revolutionary War veteran.
We split the chef salad in the car before going exploring. There was a moment with the chef salad that almost ended in tragedy. I had it sitting, balanced on the center console, and my husband got out of the car to get more olives out of the cooler.
When he got back in the car, his arm swung out and knocked the chef salad right onto my lap! Aside from a few drops of dressing which spilled on my pants and onto the car seat, the chef salad was unharmed. Whew! Oh, the perils of eating in the car in the days of coronavirus!
And then I strolled up to the little cemetery and he headed for the woods. I walked around, reading the names from the graves out loud. John. Alvira. Matthew. Elizabeth. Jacob. William. Mary. Joseph. Barbara. George. Richard. Stachee Ann. Zachary. Irving. Edward. Samuel. Harriet. Abram. I checked out the rabbit, squirrel, and deer tracks that were everywhere. I cleaned snow off tombstones. Some of them didn't even have names on anymore.
I pondered my own mortality and thought how sad it is that everything must someday end; for the bones, at least, though not the spirit! But I also thought that it might not be too bad at all if my bones should end up in a lovely and peaceful place like this someday, while my spirit rises up and goes out dancing among the rolling hills. . . .
Eventually, we walked up the road to Upper Green's Run, where there is a fishing pier and a boat dock. The hoot and holler above our heads turned out to belong to a beautiful blue kingfisher with a wild hair-do who lives in the cove. You may see what I will always think of as Kingfisher Cove in the extras; s/he loves to sit on that slim white tree just to the left of center in the photograph.
I am choosing to share two photos of the cemetery. The one is a broad view, above, showing you the huge, gorgeous tree that sits in its middle. For I am one who thinks EVERY cemetery should have such a tree to build a bridge between the earth and the heavens.
I am also including a photo in the extras of several of the gravestones, including those of Elizabeth and Jacob Leathers. I loved the way the afternoon sun caressed their stones; no matter where I stood, the stones almost seemed to shine with an unearthly light.
And you know how I am for trees, and especially trees on tombstones. Both of these stones bear the emblem of a tree, specifically, a willow, which was a very common gravestone motif for that time period. You may read more about the significance of the willow in these two links: link one, and link two.
I've decided I need two soundtrack songs for these three images. First is Lilydale, by the Ten Thousand Maniacs, where she talks about walking among the grave stones, reading the names out loud. Second is a tune for the weeping willow trees: Brad Paisley and Alison Krauss, with Whiskey Lullaby. (Want to play that second one on guitar? Here are the chords.)