What are your essential road-trip stops? Some folks always stop for ice cream, me, I always beg to pull over if I see cemetery. A few weeks ago I was with my sister in Central Ontario, and I spotted something on the highway and just needed to take a look (forgetting it was not an option).
A pioneer cemetery was at the side of the road, it appears that some of the stones were damaged, and and in the 1960s a small memorial sign had been made when the stones were restored and moved together. The entire field likely contained bodies, while the headstones had been re-located. This was on both sides of the highway. It was in middle of a field, and almost felt like I was on private property.
Someone on one of the farms actually came out to say “hi” to me and point out that there were more stones across the street if I didn’t find who I was looking for. But the thing is, I wasn’t looking for anyone particular, just looking.
I find standing in a field with only dead souls really peaceful. All these people surround me, their respective lives represented by inscriptions on graves. I enjoy looking at the different names, and length of life. It’s interesting in the different historical periods to see how women were represented in death (i.e. Sarah Wife of John). Sometimes birthplaces are given (such as Scotland) or the exact length of life, 72 years, 10 months and 3 days. The images on the different stones all have meanings.
What I’m really interested in are the stories: Who are you? What was your life like? Were you happy? Were you ahead of your time? Did you like your family? Did you stay with your family? If you were a settler, what was the journey to Canada like? What would you make of the present? Do you mind me visiting you?
Another gem from the road-trip. Old houses also hold lots of questions…
Who first lived here? Who last lived here? Why did they leave? Where did they go? How did they feel as they left? Did they die? Why did their family leave the house? How long will it sit there? What animals have called it home? Is anyone buried on the property? What secrets does this house hold?
As a writer, I can’t look out the window on a road trip & not see stories. I have questions about the folks I see living & surrounding me, but also the things left behind be it a house or a stone.