Sunday, March 24, 2013

All Souls Prospect

Having left home earlier in the day, actually much earlier, and after a stop for some breakfast with some catching up over the Calgary Sun, I headed on down the highway in a easterly direction. Within a short distance I ran in to heavy fog, and although the dawn was breaking nicely on the eastern horizon, whether or not I would see it was something else. As I drove and made frequent stops to shoot photographs, my mind was taking a nostalgic trip down memory lane, remembering some of the friends and family whom who have passed, leaving behind those of us that loved them to carry on the best we can. We as human beings tend to grieve those that have left us, not realizing that we are actually grieving for ourselves, as it is those that have left us that made our lives richer and fuller, and now with a hole in our souls, we have to learn to move forward without them.   

The name of this post may have you wondering where the name came from, as during the month of November its the custom during All Souls Day and throughout the month of November, to remember those who have gone before us, but because remembering can be a way of making the deceased person present, at least to our minds, it is the time of reflecting on times gone past, and on those that we remember sharing those times, that made us smile and kept our souls filled. So its was with a somewhat empty feeling within me as I drove along, remembering that another good friend has passed this week, leaving those of us that called him a friend to remember that we will not hear his infectious laugh again, and that's unfortunate, but I feel better for having known him for the short number of years that I had him as a friend. God Speed my friend.

Note all photos expand

Funny how things go, as I had been down this road many times, and had observed the sign many times over the years that made reference to a pioneer Mormon cemetery located down this backroad, and today because I felt something beckoning through the fog, I made the turn and drove down the road to this small piece of ground located near this backroad just off of highway 23 east of High River. Once I had parked my truck, I grabbed my camera and headed into the cemetery. I couldn't help but notice how well the cemetery is being kept, telling me that there are those who still care and have not forgotten those who have gone before them.

As I wandered about this small cemetery, I would stop and read the words that were written on the grave markers. They left me to wonder as to the loved ones lying in these graves in this tiny burial ground, and what their lives were like, and as well I wondered about those that tend to this tiny cemetery. I visit many cemeteries, as I find them to be very interesting and informative places to visit. For the most part, all the grave markers in this cemetery were similar, and made of wood. Wood markers became popular as gravestones among early pioneers for the material’s accessibility, affordability, as well as and how easily it could be intricately decorated were strong factors in its use. It was not uncommon for carpenters and cabinetmakers to be paid to carve wooden grave markers, but due to the natural decomposition cycle very few wooden markers survive more than 50-100 years. Over the past 20 years, I have found that small forgotten cemeteries that I have visited in the past are being restored, and a common granite marker bearing the names of all those within the cemetery are inscribed on this marker strategically placed in the cemetery.

At one corner of this tiny cemetery, I came upon a grave that made me feel sad, but at the same time good inside, as someone has placed a new marker telling us as to the identity of the tiny pioneer babies that were born and died in the same year. They are not forgotten.

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