What better time than spring to put the urgencies of everyday life aside and slip into an old Texas cemetery. Wandering between the rows of graves, many very old and some more recent, we feel the rugged tranquility of this quiet place.
New Life Amid the Markers
Markers (top row, left): a citizen of Texas before it became a state in 1845 and (top right) an American Legion member. (Middle row, left): recognition from the Department of the United States Army; and (middle row, right): the American Legion Auxiliary. (Above): United States Veterans of Foreign Wars.
It’s Time to Go
Those buried in this old Texas cemetery are not forgotten. Far from it.
One day soon, a group of descendants and their friends and neighbors will return. They’ll pay their respects to those resting here to the hum of riding lawnmowers and the roar of weedeaters. Tattered flags will be replaced and faded plastic flowers gathered up and carried off in trash sacks.
Then, once again, the old souls will rest in peace.
* * *
If old cemeteries interest you, visit www.TuiSnider.comfor a wealth of books on cemetery symbols and otherresources.
Reflecting my cherished Western Canada and Texas rural roots, I am irresistibly drawn to the stories of country people whose lives resonate with purpose, courage and hope. I invite you to read more about them at www.elainethomaswriter.com to see other stories I’ve saved.
Many yeas ago I visited a cemetary in Ireland. It does give a sense of peace when you think of the souls resting there.Thanks
You’re welcome, Maureen. I think the sense of peace that you reference perhaps comes from the realization of how long these old cemeteries have existed. While not permanent, they have survived the tests of time.
Beautiful photos and touching stories, Elaine. Are there tours of the cemeteries? Here in Calgary, we have tours of some of the City cemeteries.
I’m glad you enjoyed the photos and info about some of the old souls buried in this sacred place. While some of the larger cemeteries in the area sponsor tours, especially late in the fall, there are numerous small cemeteries here in our county, some now on privately held lands. No organized tours of these resting places are available.
It’s always so interesting to think of these that have gone on before when looking at their headstones. Even God leaves little remembrances with the wild flowers.
Yes, I agree with you, Paul. It would be easy to assume that a cemetery, especially an old one in a rural area never changes, but Mother Nature never forgets. The seasons unfold there just as they do down the road in our front yards. Thank you for writing.
Thank you so much for this Elaine. A sober and touching reminder of those who went before us and the debt we owe them whether in Civilian or Military life and whether we knew them or not. On our last visit to England, I photographed many of the headstones from Jenny’s family, most of whom lie in a churchyard cemetery in a small Devon village. They too measure the years to the most recent in 1995 and mirror a time when, with few exceptions, family members remained in the area in which they were born and raised and in turn raised their families.
Malcomn, I so appreciate your words and sentiment. I’m delighted to hear that you took the time to photograph all those old tombstones from Jenny’s family. You probably had a representative sample of several hundred years! Time takes its toll on the stones, but they remain. Like you, I realize the links between the generations are a strength and of value. Thank you for sharing.
Beautiful photos Elaine. I love wandering through old cemeteries and reading the headstones. So peaceful.
I hope one day we’ll have a chance to do this together, Janine! Thanks for writing.
Thank you, Brenda!
Your photos and post touched my heart. Cemeteries are indeed special places of peace. I visit often and wonder about the lives of all who rest there. There are so many stories to be told. Elaine, thank you so much for sharing this beautiful article.
I appreciate your warm comments, Darlene. Thank you for being the keeper of so many stories and taking the lead in treasuirng a very, very old cemetery. I hope we can share your family’s story soon!
I loved your Slow Lane story, Elaine! I’ve enjoyed old cemeteries since my high school days when we had an bonus opportunity to do some gravestone rubbings. What interesting epitaphs I found! Many of the oldest tombstones where I grew up were made of slate, rather than granite. The lichen don’t grow nearly as well on slate, so the details remain legible for many years.
I’m pleased that a spring ramble through an old cemetery reminded you of pleasant visits you’ve made yourself, Loraine! I hadn’t thought about slate not being as conducive to the lichen. Fascinating!
I love old cemeteries and rarely pass one by so this post is a great one for me. I wander among the tombstones making up stories about the people who rest there. Maine has been especially interesting as some of the markers are so much earlier than what we see in Texas.
Oh, yes, compared to Texas, Maine would have cemeteries of greater age. How interesting! Thanks for sharing your interest in rambling old cemeteries with us.
I ENJOY WALKING THRU CEMENTARY, ALSO. I DID A THESIS ON CZECH MIGRATION TO FAYETTE CO & LAVACCA CO BY RESEARCHING THE LOCAL TOMBSTONES IN THE AREA.. DID WELL.
Glen, what a fascinating topic and approach for a thesis! I’m sure you learned things about Czech migration to Fayette and Lavaca counties that made an indelible impression on you because it was based on so much firsthand research. I hope you saved a copy.
Love the article. Very well said. Thank you;
Thanks, La Dell. I know you and Gene have visited many historic cemeteries over the years. My friend, Helen, provided a detailed translation of the German rhyming words on the stone:
Schaut aufwärts!” ruft der tröstend fromme Glaube.
Der Geist ist dort – die Hülle ruht im Staube.
Look upward!” calls the comforting, pious Faith.
The spirit is there—the husk rests in the dust.