I am lucky enough to walk through the most lovely of cemeteries to school each day. Tree-lined, meticulously maintained, and full of headstones and grave markers both new and old, the daily walk to and from school has become a ritual of sorts for me. I know the names of those who rest there near the shaded lanes almost as well as my old friends. Perhaps in a way, they have become my friends. Each day as I pass them by, I am reminded of how short life is and how fortunate I am to still be alive, breathing, living, and learning. On my walk to school, my mind is cleared of all the troubles at home and the presence of their headstones unburdens me in some way, cleanses me. On my walk back home, I am once again met by my familiar friends who remind me that at home, I have two warm, wonderful boys who are waiting for me to be their mother and a husband who loves me beyond reason.
When I go to the camups another way, it never feels as if I have "arrived." When I go home, it is a similar experience. It is almost as if the cemetery is a portal of some kind for me, a place for me to let go of one the scholar role and put on the mantle of Mother.
As I walked to campus today, I was stopped in my tracks by the beauty of the cemetery. It was around 10:30 a.m. and the sky was that unspeakable, startling shade of sapphire blue that it gets each fall here in the valley. The sycamores leaves were starting to cascade into deep piles. There was new snow on Mt. Naomi. At the end of the lane I was walking down, the ground gently falls away into a panoramic view of my little corner of paradise. There are many stone benches that families have placed here instead of headstones and there is one in particular under a towering pine tree that is well-placed for maximum viewing of the valley. I had to sit there and watch the clouds rolling in from the north. The whole scene was nothing short of...breathtaking.
As I inhaled the sharp scents of fall--woodsmoke and pine on chilled norther air and exhaled the worries of my world, I remembered. Sometimes I get so caught up in the busy-ness of earning a Ph.D. and essentially being a single mom I forget. Today, today I remembered and remembering was good.