A few miles west of town and a few hundred feet off of the valley floor, the Creswell Pioneer Cemetery welcomes all comers, breathing or not, for a moment’s rest among a quickly-diminishing forest. The march of time is witnessed by the incursion of new home sites, the living crowding around the dead even in a rural setting.
It’s nice, though, to hear signs of life from up there, to my surprise. Our little cemetery has been a favorite escape of mine for a decade; a park in the forest, a guaranteed absence of heavy traffic. If others of the living are there, space and privacy are given on the loop as people park out of reach of each other’s moments with their loved ones. Once in awhile I discover the headstone of a classmate and am shocked into reality. Not just a distant exercise, walking through one’s home-town graveyard, is it?
I live in a house built more than a hundred years ago on what was a huge lot then a few blocks from town, now long-incorporated into the community. The original owners are buried up here, as are some of their family members. I know living nieces and nephews, great- and great-greats by now, and among my elders now are some who knew the original couple as elders.
I’m always a little jealous of those at their peace, but I’m in no rush. They share the quiet of their resting place, the wind and trees, the chain saw and hammering and dogs barking from down the hill aways, and I take my little photos, think my thoughts.
We get our shot and make room for others to have their experience, and in some places we overlap. Even the future is called up as I wonder about who will be sitting here some day wondering about me, as I sit here and wonder about them?