Sunday, June 5, 2016

Every Life Is a Story

Today, I went for a bike ride along the bike path that winds through city following the path of Wascana Creek.  It's rather like being in the country when you're still in the city.  The  bullrushes crowd along the shore of the creek and birds perch on stalks of plants I can't identify.  The sky is that crystal clear blue that prairie skies are known for.  I pass a couple of women chatting as they walk their dogs, both of them wearing matching pink harnesses - the dogs that is.

The path winds along, I pass another biker and two joggers before I hit the hill that leads to the overpass, taking me over the road that rings around the city.  A semi passes and reminds me that all that nature I just left was still part of the city.

The path leads on and just across the road is the cemetery.  It's a place where my dad, grandparents and a few aunts and uncles now rest.  It's also a place that holds so many stories.  
There are sad stories here, heartbreakers like the cluster of baby graves.  But there's also lives well worn, savoured and enjoyed before a day was called.  There's the couple that were 102 and 101 when they called it a day.  There's the husband who died in 1965 and the wife who waited fifty years after that to join him.  There's the grown daughter who's name is inscribed between that of her parents' and beneath her name is something else, an image of a dog.  I'm not sure if the dog was quietly buried there as well, I like to imagine he might have been.  A lovely tribute even if a major infraction of cemetery rules.

I walk between a row of headstones, pushing my bike along, making sure that I'm the required distance from the headstones so, as my mother used to say, I don't step on anyone's feet.

In an older section, there's headstones that have been there so long that age and time has begun to dull the inscriptions.  And then there there's the imaginative inscriptions:

"He hit a home run."
"Somewhere my love."

There are secrets hidden here, some of them buried forever and maybe too dark to ever be told.  And others are just waiting to tell their story.  The stories are told in the cryptic words on a headstone, some say not a whole lot and others describe a life.

The graves are a reminder that every life has it's own unique story and oddly, there's inspiration in that.


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