Contemplating a Grave Situation

April 27

When the spirit moves me I set out for a back road less traveled.  Never quite sure in which direction to head, somehow I am guided.

I know turning  left is always a good route. One early spring day,after dealingwith extremely nasty co-workers,I just kept taking left turns and ended up on a rough gravel road leading to who knows where. I had no clue as to where I was going or where I would end up, but that is the exciting part of traveling country roads. As I navigated a sharp curve unusual shapes of formations came into view; sawtoothed rocks  imitated shapes of mammoth dinosaurs.

Traveling further down this dusty road, dodging pot holes and muddy ruts, my mind vacillated between admiring incredible scenery and pondering the state of man kind (the excrement I refer to as co-workers).

I have experienced  certain human flaws that compel people to claim power over others, indulge in enormous self grandiosity, demand inconsequential territorial rights, and have a desperate need to be right at all costs, even to their own detriment.   Unfortunately I have had the displeasure of working with several people who possess all the above negative traits.

I was suddenly jolted by several deer that came out of no where and decided to cross the road right in front of my car. I slammed on the brakes narrowly missing a young buck. Scrambling to grab my camera and exit my car at the same time proved to be an exercise in futility, as the deer were much faster than I.  As I pointed my camera in the direction of the fleeing deer I noticed the tops of several mysterious ivory, colored tops of —-,  barely visible in the thick brush. What were they?

Being an ever curious person, I just had to investigate what the waist-high weeds were concealing.  Thrashing through  dense weeds only a few feet, I realized I was in the middle of an old grave yard.  Situated barely ten feet from a lonely, gravel, road beneath soaring, jagged, cliffs were grave stones dating back to the 1860’s.

Much as in life, it was most distinguishable the more prosperous deceased from the less fortunate.  How could this be, I wondered, that this cemetery could be so neglected and forgotten?  Where was the village where these people lived, worked,  bore their children and died?  Where was the church where these people worshiped, married, gathered for social functions and christenings?

Were they ranchers, farmers, sheep growers?  Why did the survivors leave this beautiful place?  As the question’s swirled through my mind I noticed  the cemetery overlooked a serene valley that gave way to an outcropping of rocks resembling a razor back, prehistoric animal.

On a Dirt Road

I couldn’t help but contemplate the age-old battle for power, control and the greed that must have taken place back then, just as it is today, and probably will continue for many years to come.

As I stood pondering the lives of the people who laid beneath me I realized that no matter how much the desperate need for domination, wealth, and imagined necessity of territory is satisfied, and the high price paid to that self-serving end; we can all end up in a grave yard over run by tumble weeds and dense brush surrounded by a rotting wooden fence.

Not only are we forgotten by our relatives and loved ones, our final resting place might be in obscurity and exist for the occasional old woman passing by, camera in hand, chasing wild life.





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7 thoughts on “Contemplating a Grave Situation

  1. Reflections like this make me think of looking through little peepholes in the self created walls between ourselves living in the dingy, cluttered, cobweb covered attic of our minds into a glorious, bright, abundant world of beauty and understanding. Thanks Arlys.

  2. Arlys, this is so good. What is amazing is that it gets right down to the bone of things! After watching the Goldman Sachs grilling in Washington, it amazes me the depth of greed in our humanity. Like you said, it will be there for years to come. About 14 years ago, a number of us cleaned up the old De Kalb Cemetery. And the result emphasized the respect that is deserved of the buried. Thank you Arlys for this amazing insight into life.

  3. I just found your rss page and added it to the Google Reader and voil? – I’m always up-to-date! Well buddy, keep up the good work and make that rss button a little bigger so that other people can enjoy that as well

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