The fall colors were delightful. Crunching in dry leaves is so satisfying. As well, there's so much "scope for imagination," as certain literary heroines would say, in visiting grave-sites. I don't mean that in a callous way, romanticizing the tragedies of others. Rather, more of a wondering about the lives of the people who have gone before me. The family who lost multiple children all in the same calendar year. Taking note of someone's son, listed with a military rank, who died in 1918. Or the gravestone of a World War II veteran who still lived until the 1980s. Mothers, fathers, children, grandparents. Long-lived, short-lived. Some graves marked with plaques, telling the story of the person's contribution to the building of our city; other graves that are so lichen-covered, it's possible no one visits them any longer. None of this is depressing to me. I find it reassuring when I remember that no matter what I face in life, countless people have gone through it before me. Except that final trip of theirs, of course; I haven't faced that, yet.
The littlest of us was growing tired of hiking up and down hills on the uneven terrain, so on our way back to where we'd parked, we walked along the road, for easier travels. We crossed paths momentarily with a priest who was also visiting the cemetery. Before we were out of earshot, the three-year-old asked, "Was that a priest?" Yes, we told her. "OH! I didn't know priests went outside."