Saturday, September 24, 2016

Light and Magic in the Cemetery

I've always spent time in cemeteries. As a child I'd practice math by figuring out the age of the deceased while wandering through the rows. As I grew older it was the history, the beauty of those places, the artistry and symbolism of the stones that appealed to me. Now, it's the quiet, and an appreciation of natures ability to wear down those strong edges, the lichen blurring the facts of death.

There is a small cemetery very close to my house. The Bullis', the people who built our house, now reside there.

All of my visits have been during the day... until last week.

I was running late and it was nearing dusk, but I wanted to get in a quick walk with the dog. Walking up the entry lane way to the cemetery I saw a single light shifting colour near one of the gravestones. I thought it was a bit weird but as I made my way deeper into the yard more and more lights revealed themselves. 

Stringed lights, colour changing lights, lights shaped like humming birds, white lights, red lights, green lights... you name it! All over this tiny little cemetery lights glowed beside the headstones. 

You would think that a graveyard might be a frightening place to visit in the almost dark, but that yard was pure magic!

It was like a celebration!

And I've been back there, soaking up that magic... bringing extra lights for those graves still dimmed.


  1. Well that must have been a very unexpected discovery!! How magical. :) And YOU, bringing lights to illuminate the remaining dark stones, what a sweet soul!! An illuminated celebration, yes.

    I have had a life long love of the cemetery yard as well and exploring the history of the stones in cemeteries around me. can I still vividly recall when I travelled to Scotland and stumbled upon graveyards with stones dated to several hundred years before my own country existed as a nation. lol THAT put the immediate sense of time and history in clearer perspective for me. . .

    1. It's funny how our sense of history is so different than Europe's. We're so young, practically babies here. There are houses that are hundreds upon hundreds of years old there... and people still live in them!

  2. This is such a cool story. I love that folks light their ancestors graves. We do that here in the SW with luminarias or farolitos (little brown bags with sand and candles in them). I used to work in a mausoleum in a cemetery. The first Christmas I worked there, I was so, so surprised to see the cemetery grounds lit up with candle light. It was just lovely.
    Your grace shows in your adding to the dark stones with additional lights.
    xoxo Blessings, Oma Linda

  3. What a lovely and amazing story. I also love old cemeteries, and never have seen lights on the headstones. Maybe I should go at night, and see what is there. I would love to put lights on those of people I know.

  4. Wow, way cool! Those grave markers look so amazing now. Just like in Mexico with the Day of the Dead celebrations, so should we. I love the idea about celebrating using glow sticks and solar lights, putting them around the graveyard. Thanks for sharing this one!
    Victoria, BC

  5. I too have always had a certain fascination with graveyards. Think maybe it started on a Girl Scouts sleep over trip where we stayed near one and did gravestone rubbings?? Who knows...
    I love your story. Have never seen such a thing myself. Love the Day of the Dead customs of the families celebrating on the graves with their departed. This is also such a gentle loving way to remember. xoxoxoxo

    1. I have a gravestone rubbing of the original owners of this house. It is sadly sitting rolled up at the mo' but I'd like to hang it up. Sort of like having them home, or asking for their blessing.