Monday, February 20, 2012

February 20: Birthday

Thanks to the fact that this year they decided to make my birthday a federal holiday, my husband and I got to spend the day birding the Midcoast, with a late lunch stop at Morse's Sauerkraut. We made yet another unsuccessful pass through the Samoset to look for the snowy owl, heard fish crows in Rockland, wandered some old cemeteries in the Thomaston-Warren area, saw about a dozen bald eagles, hiked up Beech Hill, and just generally enjoyed a relaxing day off together.

I've always been drawn to old cemeteries. I love to read the inscriptions that telegraph each family's history, some even including narrative: "drowned at sea," "died in Nova Scotia," etc. One we visited today had stones more than 200 years old, the words and images carved in the tall slate slabs still legible. Old oaks, maples, and elms hang over the graves, their roots mingling with the long-dead under the soil. They're places for quiet, for reflecting on how brief and precious life is, and occasionally, for finding an interesting bird (like a flock of fat, red-bellied robins).

I'm not too old yet
to enjoy walking around
old cemeteries.

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