Graveyard charms

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Most people consider graveyards to be grim places. Quite often, when I’ve chanced upon the subject, either as a suggestion of taking a stroll through the graveyard or by mentioning my fondness for local graveyards, I’ve met with raised eyebrows, avoidance or a mixture of reverence and horror. And no doubt, this is the proper reaction to graveyards.

To me, however, graveyards at day time have never been gloomy, but sunny and peaceful oases to escape to. It’s as if I lacked the symbolism and associations.

This is taken in the graveyard near my home.

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When our family moved to a more densely populated and traffic-heavy area, the graveyard was the closest thing to a park one could find nearby. So whenever I wanted to be alone amongst nature and was in a hurry with it, I crossed the street and found relief in the calm of the graveyard. I went there when in distress and in need of a private spot to be miserable and ponder my existence. I went to have an idle happy stroll and look at the spring flowers coming to bloom around the grave sites. I probably also went when in the first euphoria of early love. I’ve composed poems and come to understand a few personal truths. Graveyards are part of my very childhood and adolescence. They are like my home outside home. Snug and safe.

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My favourite graveyard is located on one local island. It is surrounded by a cobblestone wall, as seen above, and at the other side is the sea. I had never encountered a place of such perfect delicious tranquillity. The sound of the sea and the tree tops rocking gently in the wind.  If I ever become famous, may I be buried there.

This old graveyard is almost abandoned.

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Very few people visit their buried there. Most are long forgotten. Almost no names or gravestones are visible. One gravestone did mark the death to have occurred in 1913. How short is human memory, but at least the flowers remember. No graveyard I’ve been to is as beautiful in spring.

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