Thursday, December 4, 2014

Visiting the Graveyard

In September for book club we read Here Lies Linc by Delia Ray, a story that is set in my city and features a graveyard and a legend that are also here. The author is local and lives nearby too. It was a good book and I recommend it. It sparked my interest in visiting this graveyard, which is only about two miles from my house. So on a beautiful fall morning (the day after we met and discussed the book), I went out to find this big historic graveyard that I didn't really even know about before. I had driven by it many times before but I had no idea how far back it stretched and how huge and historic it was.

First I went to a cemetery that turned out not to be the right one. It was small and pretty.


Then I google-mapped Oakland Cemetery and found that it was less than a minute away. When I got there I couldn't believe how big it was! It's been hiding back there past the main road this whole time, taking up many blocks worth of space. Those tricky graveyards!

I was searching for the Black Angel that is featured in the book, and I didn't have too much trouble finding it. If you want to read about the Black Angel, (and you should because it's really interesting and involves supposed curses and evil), you can here and here.

I don't think it's a beautiful statue. It's pretty creep actually. The wings are weird and the fact that it turned black is strange, and it doesn't have a kind face. But it didn't feel ominous on such a beautiful fall morning, and daring woman that I am, I DID touch it!

It was neat to see the details on the grave that were talked about in the book.

 She doesn't look like a very nice angel! But who knows, maybe she's just misunderstood?

It does look a little strange amidst all of the "normal" graves, doesn't it?

From this angle it looks like her wing is shielding a grave, perhaps her son's grave/memorial (assuming the angel is Teresa Feldevert), which is the engraved tree stump right next to her. That's a nicer way of thinking of it, isn't it?

The cemetery is HUGE and I spent a little while exploring other parts of it. 
I love the history that is in graveyards. 
I find them to be very informative and peaceful places (at least in the daytime!). 

A family of small gravestones.
 It blows my mind that we live our long, richly detailed lives and then end up like this, all contained on a stone and in a box under the ground. Of course there's much more to death and life after death than this, but as far as the earth and our bodies go, this is what remains as proof of the life we lived here.

This reminded me of the Tree of Life in the Book of Mormon.

 Oakland Cemetery is so large that it has "neighborhoods" to help keep things organized.

There's the Black Angel in the background.
I like the statue in the foreground better!

I really enjoyed going there and I plan on going back again. What a hidden gem!