Playing Among the Headstones

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Sometimes we are fortunate enough to look past what lies on the surface and find pleasure in unexpected places.  Before our children started school, we decided it would be best if I put off working until they started school.  Most days, the children and I were home.  I rambled the lanes around our rural home were on foot pulling the little ones in a red wagon behind me.

We frequently strolled to a lovely old pre-Civil War cemetery with off a gravel road near our home..  The children were fascinated by the tall, graceful tombstones and loved running between them, seeking out their favorites with angels, little lambs, ornate curlicues, or crypts enclosed within wrought-iron fences.

In their exuberant innocence, they played happily in the deep shade under the ancient oaks, having no knowledge of death or its connection to their favorite destination.  Sometimes they sat in the sand of the unpaved tracks, playing with their trucks or other small toys.  To them, it was no more than a park.  As often as not, I spread a blanket on the grass for them to picnic on peanut butter and jam sandwiches, milk and cookies.

Later, they’d stretch out on the blanket while I read to them, sometimes drifting off for their naps.  Late in the afternoon, We’d walk home in the long shadows as they searched for little treasures of pretty stones, colorful bird feathers, or bright flowers or toss small stones from their vantage point on a small wooden bridge into the clear creek below.

I cherish the memory of those lovely afternoons and hope that the souls resting beneath that cool green carpet of grass enjoyed the laughter of children playing and the time we shared with them.

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