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"Happiness always looks small when you hold it in your hands, but let it go, and at once you learn how big and precious it is."
Maxim Gorky

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Lions, ladies and lichen...

When I think of a peaceful place to wander, I think of cemeteries.
Maybe strange to some, but to me they are an oasis of calm, quite often in the heart of a city.
They provide green space for wildlife, escape from traffic and are an endless bounty of history.
Through these gates is Mount Pleasant cemetery.
In the heart of a busy Toronto neighborhood.
Established in 1867. 
200 acres. 168,00 souls rest here.
Lions are a common sight amongst the more elaborate mausoleums...
Two of these very large ones flank the Eaton's family crypt.
 And this quiet, smaller one dozing in the sun.
Hand carved details abound in stone...
Lichen has left it's mark on many as well...
This one was quite unique in its depiction of a tree stump, trying to blend in...
The baby blue eyes were blooming in mass carpets but none so large as this spot where dozens of infants are buried...
Then there are the 'ladies'...
I imagine they are to represent angels amongst the granite masculinity...
I would take my time, reading the many names, dates and places where these people came from and thought of my own mortality...
As Longfellow once wrote...
"Lives of great men all remind us,
we can make our lives sublime,
and departing leave behind us footprints on the sands of time."

I came across many other walkers, the few times I was there, who seemed to find a similar peace.


myletterstoemily said...

and no one ever is rude or interrupts
you. :)

lovely, peaceful photos. especially
enjoyed the nestled lion. don't really
think of them that way.

reminds me of how angelic my babies
were when sleeping. i always thought
"how could such a terror by day be so
precious by night?"

farmlady said...

This is a lovely post. The photos are absolutely beautiful.
Cemeteries hold a mystery and beauty for me. I too love walking into them. There is a peace that you only find there among the stone and marble. It's a reminder of my immortality but, somehow, I find solace in these places.

Sherry O'Keefe said...

this was a quietly stirring post and i wanted to thank you for sharing this with us and for the way you've honored those before us. in a remote mountain valley in montana, our family often visits a small irish cemetery that speaks of the many hardships others endured so that future generations would not.

sherry o'keefe